Paris mourns as the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral burned. Thousands of Parisians and tourists gathered around, watching as the over 400 firefighters battled to contain the blaze.
Notre Dame’s centuries-old wooden roof beams quickly became easy firewood to the blaze while the cathedral’s height and its stone exterior made it difficult for firefighters to reach the Gothic architecture. With the fire starting at the roof of the centuries-old structure, there was nothing much that firefighters can do but try to prevent the fire from spreading even as the spire glowed in the embers.
Photo credit: abc15
A lot of netizens, even US President Donald Trump, suggested aerial water dumping but local firefighters were against the idea because such could “weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and result in collateral damage to the buildings in the vicinity,” responded French civil security agency, Securite Civile.
Most of the roof of the iconic cathedral as well as the spire were totally damaged, but the main edifice and two bell towers were saved. As of press time, the fate of the countless treasures and valuables inside the cathedral remains unknown, but many were likely destroyed in the blaze.
But even as Paris mourns the damaged cathedral, tourists were amazed at how the Parisians reacted to the fire. Even as the Notre Dame cathedral continues to burn, millions of donations have already poured in for its repair – and one pledged more than $110 million!
French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, CEO and chairman of the luxury group Kering which owns luxury brands including Gucci and Alexander McQueen, pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.
“My father (François Pinault) and I have decided to release from Artemis funds, a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame,” Pinault posted on Twitter, in French.
Hundreds of other donors have also pledged to help, with several groups also offering to provide money and assistance in the repairs. More than 50 GoFundMe campaigns were immediately launched hours after the fire broke out.
Photo credit: Twitter / @Speirs_Official
Completed in the 13th century, much of the materials used to make the Notre Dame Cathedral might no longer be available in modern times but many are hopeful it will be restored in its full glory – and possibly look exactly like it had before the fire…