‘French history on fire’: Macron vows to rebuild Notre Dame with help of greatest talents worldwide

Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. / Free

After the ‘worst case scenario’ was avoided and firefighters managed to save the Notre Dame’s structure from total destruction, President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to restore the historic cathedral to its former glory.

“This cathedral, we will all rebuild together,” Macron promised while visiting the heartbreaking scene at the center of Paris. “We will appeal to the greatest talents… and we will rebuild… Because that’s what the French expect, because that’s what our history deserves, because it’s our deep destiny.”

The chief architect in charge of the works at Notre-Dame, Philippe Villeneuve, also pledged to rebuild the national symbol.

“We have rebuilt the cathedral of Reims after the bombing by the Germans during the First World War and today we still see in its splendor,” he said.

While Macron promised to launch an international fundraising campaign, the Heritage Foundation said it will launch a “national collection” of funds for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris on Tuesday, after the tragic incident raised a wave of condolences around the world.

Hundreds of firefighters are still working the scene of the terrible fire, trying to preserve whatever is left of the world art treasures. The Crown of Thorns, one of the major reliquaries of the church, was saved from the inferno along with many other treasures, Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector of Notre-Dame de Paris noted earlier. The altar and the cross also survived the fire, local media reported citing the mayor’s office.

While no one has died in the blaze, at least one firefighter was “seriously” injured trying to contain the fire, local media reported.

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