Dispatch'No words can describe the pain': Paris weeps for its beloved Notre-Dame

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‘No words can describe the pain’: Paris weeps for its beloved Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame cathedral
'People are just in a state of total shock. It’s almost like a cultural September 11'

The heart of Paris was torn asunder on Monday night as a fire ripped through Notre-Dame cathedral and gutted Europe’s most loved historic monument.

Bystanders from around the world cried out as the 13th century Gothic masterpiece’s spire – one of the highest points of the capital – came crashing to the ground in flames.  Ash fell across the Ile de la Cité, the original island that housed the earliest Parisian settlement.

Victor Hugo helped save the cathedral almost two centuries ago by immortalising the edifice in his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. On Monday night, the deputy interior minister said saving the structure was "not certain". 

Some 400 firemen appeared powerless to prevent the…

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