- REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
- Public figures around the world have expressed their sympathies over the burning of Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday evening.
- President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, and Pope Francis are among those who paid tribute.
- The fire was fully extinguished on Tuesday morning and has caused devastating damage. Authorities say they are “favoring the theory of an accident.”
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Politicians and public figures around the world are expressing their sympathies over a massive fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The 856-year-old house of worship caught fire on Monday night, with the blaze quickly tearing through the iconic structure. It was fully extinguished on Tuesday morning, but it caused devastating damage, with the spire of the cathedral collapsing.
Authorities are looking into the cause of the fire. Remy Heitz, Paris’ public prosecutor, said on Tuesday that investigators “are favoring the theory of an accident,” according to Reuters. The cathedral had been in the middle of renovations at the time of the fire.
French President Emmanuel Macron canceled a planned speech to the nation on Monday night due to the fire, tweeting: “Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn.”
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
President Donald Trump suggested an approach for tackling the blaze: “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
“It’s one of the great treasures of the world,” he later added, according to CNN’s Abby Phillip. “It might be greater than almost any museum in the world.”
First lady Melania Trump also tweeted: “My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety.”
European Council President Donald Tusk said: “We are all with Paris today.”
Notre-Dame de Paris est Notre-Dame de toute l’Europe. We are all with Paris today.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 15, 2019
Queen Elizabeth II also said she and her husband, Prince Philip, were “deeply saddened” to see pictures of the disaster.
“Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened to see the images of the fire which has engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral,” she said in a Tuesday morning statement. “I extend my sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument. My thoughts and prayers are with those who worship at the Cathedral and all of France at this difficult time.”
Pope Francis is also “praying for the French Catholics and for the people of Paris who are in shock,” tweeted Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Holy See press office.
British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted on Monday: “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.”
She added on Tuesday that Westminster Abbey will toll at 5:43 p.m. to mark the moment the fire began, according to a statement sent by her office.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent a message of condolence to Macron on Tuesday morning, saying that China was “deeply saddened” about the fire, Agence France-Presse reported.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, also said: “This is truly devastating. What a cultural tragedy, not just for Paris and France, but for the world.”
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 15, 2019
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also expressed solidarity. “Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames. London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always,” he wrote.
Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames. London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 15, 2019
Soccer star Neymar, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, and French player Kylian Mbappé also posted tributes on Instagram. Neymar posted an illustration of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the Disney character, hugging the cathedral.
- Hundreds of people around the world have also pledged funds to Notre-Dame’s reconstruction. They include Bernard Arnault, the third-richest man in the world, and the billionaire Bettencourt family, which owns L’Oréal.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted on Tuesday that Apple will donate to the reconstruction fund.
- “We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope,” he said.