But Dan Snow, a British presenter known for his history programs, tried to offer hope amid the tragedy.
“It’s overwhelming but remember that York Minster and Hampton Court burned in the 80s, Windsor Castle in the 90s and Cutty Sark in the 00s. Dresden’s Frauenkirche, the Catherine Palace… What we build, we can rebuild. Their essence endures. Notre Dame will rise again.”
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The 12th century building, immortalized in the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was undergoing renovation work due to “deterioration of structural elements.”
In 2012, the Archbishop of Paris and the Diocese of Paris founded “The Friends of Notre Dame” to raise funds to fight the problem, with renovation and repair efforts ongoing. Michel Picaud, president of the foundation, told France 24 in 2017 that the costs were “estimated at a total of €100 million.”
“There is no part of the building untouched by the irreparable loss of sculptural and decorative elements, let alone the alarming deterioration of structural elements,” said the foundation.
DW will continue updating this story as it develops.
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ls/msh (AFP, dpa)