Norte Dame Destruction


Aliyah Jordan '19, Reporter

On Monday Apr. 15 at 6:20 pm, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught on fire.

It quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass windows and the wooden interior before toppling the spire.

Notre Dame Cathedral was within ‘15 to 30 minutes’ of complete destruction as firefighters battled to stop flames reaching its gothic bell towers,” French authorities stated.

Nearly 500 firefighters battled the flames for five hours.

“The worst has been avoided even though the battle is not completely won,” President Emmanuel Macron said later that night.

The cause of the fire appeared to have begun in the interior network of wooden beams, many dating back to the Middle Ages and nicknamed “The Forest”.

Vincent Dunn, a fire consultant and former New York City fire chief, said that fire hose streams could not reach the top of such a cathedral, and that reaching the top on foot was often an arduous climb over winding steps.

“You can’t get back the artifacts that burned nor can you gain back the acoustics or soul of the building,” Junior Sav’Jon Tamlin stated.

Why is this building so important?

This cathedral has been a massive part of Paris’ history and culture and is more than 850 years old. It was built on a small island called the Île de la Cité, in the middle of the Seine, a river that runs through central Paris. Notre-Dame is a landmark not only for Paris, but for all the world. The cathedral is visited by around 13 million people a year.

For centuries France’s kings and queens were married there. Napoleon was crowned emperor in Notre-Dame in 1804, and the joyous Thanksgiving ceremony after the Liberation of Paris in 1944 took place there.

The cathedral had been undergoing extensive renovation work. The week prior, 16 copper statues representing the Twelve Apostles and four evangelists were lifted with a crane so that the spire could be renovated.

Prior to the fire, these renovations were unlikely to happen because of their budget.

However, nearly one billion dollars (880 million euros) in just a day and a half, has been raised to repair this building. The plan is to have it done within five years. There were mixed feelings when this news arised.

“I think it’s wonderful that there people who are willing to donate but I would also like to see some of the same groups donating to the hunger and homelessness in France. I have mixed feelings,” Mrs. Manohar stated.