Early yesterday afternoon (April 15) we started getting news flashes saying that one of the world’s great landmarks, Notre Dame in Paris, had caught fire, that its iconic spire had collapsed, and that, for a brief time, the fire fighters were not sure they could contain the fire - that is, save the rest of the structure (the twin towers). The good news is that they did contain the fire. Here’s part of the story in a few photos from the NY Times. This was a heart-breaking event not only for Parisians but also for people around the world. The NY Times reported on the reactions to the fire in Fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral Leads to Expressions of Heartbreak Across the World.
A sense of loss pervaded the reactions, especially for the works of art and historical artifacts inside the cathedral. Built over two centuries and completed in 1345, it contained relics, priceless stained-glass rose windows and other prizes of France’s long Catholic history. It survived the French Revolution and two world wars. And now a fire, burning in the course of a spring afternoon, had left the cathedral’s admirers around the world stunned.