Earlier this week, the world suffered a blow when the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris – an 850-year-old icon – was the victim of a major fire. The inferno caused the historic 300-foot spire to collapse. The medieval treasure sustained “colossal damage”, as relayed to the French media by Andre Finot, a cathedral spokesperson. Firefighters have since managed to extinguish the blaze, but the church’s building was gutted and it’s roof collapsed.
But there is some good news, as in the midst of the tragedy, a photo of the building’s interior has surfaced which shows the aftermath, and the altar and cross are largely undamaged. Some are calling it miraculous as the image was uploaded to Twitter.
However, not everyone on social media is agreeing with the altar preservation being the result of divine intervention. One user posted, “It was made of materials that can withstand the heat. Having said that, it is such a relief to see the nave being largely intact. For that, I thank the designer and the builder of the church!”
While another wrote, “It’s in the part of the cathedral that was protected by the stone roof which is still largely intact; most of what’s inside there made it through. The cross was not miraculously spared; it’s just that this is a close-up shot that doesn’t show most of the rest.”
Regardless of people’s beliefs on the matter, there is a universal desire to see the cathedral restored, with French President Emmanuel Macron already spearheading an international fundraising campaign to rebuild.
Macron told French reporters, “I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders.”
Reportedly, the fire initially broke out in the attic of the building around 5:50 pm, and is thought to be a result of the restorative renovation work that was being conducted on the building. According to a cathedral spokesperson, a Parisian prosecutor is already launching an investigation into “involuntary destruction by fire.”
Overall it’s a tragedy, and hopefully the iconic landmark will get restored to its former glory.