Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris Severely Damaged in Fire

Report from France by Rachel Pommeyrol

fire burning in
nortre dame cathedral, seem from the seine river with boats
and a bridge in the foreground. Flames are in the roof but
the spire is standing in this picture

Photos via the French Home Office on Twitter

“Notre-Dame is our history, our literature. (...) We will rebuild Notre-Dame, because the French people expect it, because it is our profound destiny,” declared French President Emmanuel Macron, almost five hours after a huge fire started in the cathedral on early Monday evening, French time.

An accident during renovation works started the fire, according to preliminary investigation. The cathedral spire quickly collapsed and most of the roof was reduced to ashes. Around 400 firefighters attempted to reduce the damage and to save the pieces of art and cultural objects that cathedral holds. One of them was severely injured, according to official sources. Residents and tourists were evacuated and will be hosted until the situation is under control.

As of midnight local time – even though, according to a Paris fire official, the two towers and the main structure were saved – fire was still burning inside Notre-Dame, with two-thirds of the roofing ravaged. When the fire is extinguished, firefighters will have to evaluate the extent of the damage and to secure a framework to prevent a collapse.

firefighters
outside the burning cathedral

President Macron cancelled a planned address to French people, expected to be a response to the demands around the 'Yellow Vest' protest movement, to visit Notre-Dame on Monday night. He praised the firefighters' work and declared that Notre-Dame would be rebuilt. Many organisations have already collected money to rebuild the cathedral, which could take dozens of years.

Theresa May posted on Twitter, “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.” Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, said on social media, “London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always.” Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, and Justin Trudeau have also expressed their support.

For the French people, Tuesday morning will bring an assessment of this sudden disaster which has deeply harmed their culture and identity. And a time to rebuilt them.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Harry/Meghan Affair, And Iran

Those “Meghzit” headlines seem apt, given how closely Britain’s January 31 exit from the European Union resembles the imminent departure from the Royal Family’s top team of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. For young Iranians, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner is just the latest example of the deadly incompetence and dishonesty of their leaders... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. Given the massive outpouring of public grief in Iran over the murder of Qassem Soleimani, some reciprocal action by Iran was necessary, but (so far) it has been almost entirely symbolic in nature... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Bush Fires And Suleimani

In popular culture, Australia is often portrayed as Western civilisation’s last unspoiled frontier, or as its final refuge from planetary disaster. In Nevil Shute’s best-selling 1950s novel On The Beach for instance, Melbourne served as the backdrop ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Best Music Of 2019

This was a year where so many of the highlights came from female musicians. But amid all that richness, there was one standout album... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Scotland’s Renewed Independence Battle

Brexit has always been very much an English obsession... So while it isn’t surprising that Boris Johnson won the election, he might also have lost the United Kingdom in the process. More>>