Paris’s Cherished Cathedral Burns

By Sophia Elfrink and Alexandra Scates

The next steps of rebuilding the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Just days before Easter, Notre Dame de Paris caught fire, resulting in the falling of the spire as well as several million dollars in damage. While the cause is still unknown, an investigation is underway, though it is suspected to have been relating to the recent renovations of the cathedral. Many predict that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. Thankfully, there were no casualties resulting from the incident.  France’s president, Macron, has vowed to rebuild this national monument, however, difficulties surrounding structural concerns prevail. Investigators are still discovering the full extent of the damage. The estimated time needed to rebuild the structure is roughly 5 years, but could very well take decades. After Macron’s cry for help, nearly 1 billion dollars have been put towards the cause. However, the country’s billionaires are facing major backlash over the donations. Many believe that if millions of dollars can be put towards rebuilding the cathedral, social emergencies such as hunger, and homelessness should be addressed first. In September when Rio de Janeiro’s National Museum burned down only 16 million dollars were donated to the cause over the span of six months.  According to Washington Post’s James McAuley, the concern surrounds the importance of a beautiful monument in comparison to the struggle of the people. Many have taken up social media to express their feelings towards the incident.

Notre Dame is recognized throughout the world as a national treasure as well as a landmark for those of Christian faiths. Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow over the devastating fire, and paid tribute to those who risked their lives and bravely fought the fire. Although much was lost many artifacts were recovered from the devastation. One of which includes Notre Dame’s famous rooster, a statue that sat on top of the spire. It was found among the debris and is in the process of reconstruction. Along with the rooster, dozens of statue, and paintings have also been recovered.

The cathedral is more than 800 years old, as construction was started in 1163. In 1160, Bishop Maurice de Sully decided to give the capital a cathedral. There are currently 37 representations of Mary in the cathedral, as she was the inspiration of the bishop to construct the cathedral. The cathedral receives over thirteen million tourists each year, nearly thirty thousand each day.

Notre Dame offers an image of the past and still stands strong. The intricacy of the structure reflects a beautiful era of French Gothic architecture. Notre Dame is famous for its cultural importance and central location in France’s capital city. Acting as one of the most religiously significant buildings in the world, Paris faces a devastating loss. Although, the people of France have persevered and will unite in order to restore the ancient monument.

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