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Fire Devastates Notre-Dame Cathedral, Centuries-Old Parisian Landmark

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Sybille de La Hamaide, Julie Carriat

April 15, 2019

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PARIS (Reuters) – Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, a searing loss for the city and for France.

Flames that began in the early evening burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.

A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. Parisians watched on, many of them lost for words.

"Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn," President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

"Basically the whole rooftop is gone. I see no hope for the building," said witness Jacek Poltorak, watching the fire from a fifth-floor balcony two blocks from the southern facade of the cathedral, one of France’s most visited places.

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Notre-Dame de Paris — a Loss for Posterity

In the modern age of architecture, the severe geometry and monotony of even the holiest of places renders most buildings of worship only notable to us because of God’s ubiquity. But we are human and often need that sensory nudge from the material world to evoke a palpable communion with Him — stained glass that dyes light like at Sainte Chapelle in France, finished in 1248; the gilded and honeycomb woodcut of the mihrab in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, directing worshippers in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, built in 715; the blue dome that tops the Tempio Maggiore Synagogue of Florence, seen punctuating the skyline as guidance, completed in 1904. These buildings are artifacts of a past that allowed beauty to guide design.:snip:

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Paris' Notre Dame 'saved from total destruction,' French fire official says, after blaze ravages cathedral

Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral has been saved from "total destruction," according to a French fire official, after a massive fire ripped through the structure on Monday and caused the roof to collapse. 

Residents living close to the cathedral have been evacuated in case the building collapses, said Paris Mayor Anne Hildago. One fireman has been "seriously injured," according to the official.

Firefighters at the scene say all efforts are being directed towards saving the artwork stored at the back of the cathedral, which had been undergoing renovations and preventing the collapse of its northern tower.

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Notre Dame Cathedral fire: Artifacts including the crown of thorns saved, reports say

PARIS, Île-de-France —Priceless artifacts, including the crown of thorns, have been saved amid a widespread fire that engulfed the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.

According to media and mayoral accounts, artifacts saved include the Holy Crown of thorns, which the Bible describes as an object placed on Jesus' head to mock him before his crucifixion.

"The Holy Crown is, without doubt, the most valuable and the most revered relics preserved at Notre Dame de Paris," cathedral officials have said.

Cathedral representatives have said the relic, said to be the one Jesus wore, was brought to Paris in the 13th century.

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We Shape Our Buildind

Steven Hayward

Apr. 16 2019

Like Paul I’m overwhelmed by the site of Notre Dame in flames. I don’t know how many times I have visited, but one of my favorite things to do in Paris is to linger outside the Shakespeare & Company bookstore right across the Seine and gaze at the cathedral especially in the changing afternoon and early evening light, much as Cezanne and Monet must have done to inspire some of their impressionist studies.

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Some of our living gargoyles turned up on Twitter yesterday, unable to contain their hatred and contempt for Western Civilization:

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Stay classy, liberals. (Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that Roman Catholicism is a majority-minority faith, so that whole “white people” thing is more than merely repulsive—it’s also ignorant.)

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Paris Fire Brigade Chaplain Who Saved Notre Dame Relics Was Also Among First Inside Bataclan

William Davis

Apr. 16 2019

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Father Jean-Marc Fournier

A fire brigade chaplain who ran inside the burning Notre Dame Cathedral to save precious relics has a history of heroic actions.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier rushed inside the cathedral to save several sacred religious artifacts Monday, including the Crown of Thorns. Fournier was also one of the first people to rush inside the Bataclan theater during the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Eighty-nine people died in the theater in 2015 during the Eagles of Death Metal concert, when Fournier rushed inside to pray for the dead and comfort the wounded.

“He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the Cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear,” an emergency services source reportedly told The Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail also reports that while serving as a chaplain for the Army, Fournier survived an ambush in Afghanistan that killed 10 soldiers.

 

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Crown Of Thorns

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Bells of French cathedrals ring in tribute to Notre Dame

SYLVIE CORBET AND NICOLAS VAUX-MONTAGNY

Apr. 17 2019

PARIS (AP) — Bells of cathedrals across France rang in a moving tribute Wednesday to Notre Dame as firefighters and experts continued to keep the beloved but weakened landmark under close surveillance.

From Sacre Coeur in Paris to the cities of Strasbourg in the east and Rouen in the west, the architectural treasures of France solemnly marked the inferno, two days after it ravaged the gothic cathedral, widely regarded as the soul of France.

“I just arrived for the first ring of the bells and immediately there was an emotion. Incredible, indescribable, I just can’t explain it,” said Nadia Pascassio-Comte, in Strasbourg. “It was beautiful and sad at the same time. I had tears in my eyes at one point, and I think that this solidarity is magical, it really unites a lot of people.”

At Saint Sulpice church, the second-largest house of worship in Paris, French first lady Brigitte Macron attended a special service for the annual blessing of the oils during Holy Week, ahead of Easter Sunday.

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Leftists upset about donations to rebuild Notre Dame

Paul Mirengoff

April 19, 2019

Within hours of the fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral, donors pledged more than $1 billion to restore this magnificent, iconic structure and place of worship. So reports the Washington Post.

In the same article, the Post also reports on a backlash against this amazing generosity. A leader of the Yellow Vest movement says that if donors can give so much money to rebuild Notre Dame, “they should stop telling us there is no money to help deal with the social emergency.”

But the donations to Notre Dame are coming from private donors. No one denies they have money. It’s the French government that’s running out.

Some in the Yellow Vest movement probably favor the government taking yet more money from the wealthy “to help deal with the social emergency.” That’s understandable. There always have been, and always will be, folks who want to take money from the rich. But private efforts to help rebuild Notre Dame aren’t an argument for doing so.

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