Paris: People across the world are shocked by the towering inferno that has devastated and destroyed the roof and spire of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral – a great legacy and a historical monument with immense sacred value.
The roof of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was currently getting a relift, in fact its roof was covered with scaffoldings when the fire broke out for a still unknown reason.
Only last week, the statues of the twelve apostles sculpted by Viollet le Duc were taken down for overhaul and repairs which were to last for more than a year.
The towering inferno and spectacular blaze that could be seen from afar has now been extinguished but the cathédral is under surveillance by firemen lest the fire takes off again from the embers.
The towers have been saved, but not the spire and the famous stained glass vitraux……..A national tragedy for France, a tragedy for the world which has lost one of it’s iconic cultural symbols.
A part of everyone in France, including my wife Shireen and myself, destroyed partially by fire.
Notre Dame de Paris represents each of us….it is much more than a mere religious symbol. It must be rebuilt. It is a symbol of freedom, a symbol of the construction of the French identity – from royalty to a secular Républic, a symbol of resistance to oppression during the Nazi occupation of World War II. It cannot and should not be lost and forgotten.
For people not familiar with the séparation of the Catholic Church and the French State, it belongs to the State and is used by the Catholic Church by virtue of a convention signed with the State. In other words, it belongs to every citizen in France. Every citizen in France is attached to this symbol of the greatness of France, of it’s capacity to unite the nation beyond the frontiers of faith, of race and of any other factor of differentiation.