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World

Web Desk
April 16, 2019

International sorrow as fire ravages Notre Dame in Paris

World

Web Desk
Tue, Apr 16, 2019

Highlights

  • Trump suggests on Twitter that "flying water tankers" could be used to put out the blaze
  • French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to draw on "the best talent" to rebuild Notre-Dame
  • French billionaire Pinault pledges 100mn euros

PARIS: International leaders voiced their sorrow and solidarity with the French people as fire ravaged the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday.

Around 400 firefighters were attempting to stop the destruction of the Notre-Dame cathedral, describing the blaze as "difficult" to handle.

Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told the BFM news channel that firefighters had entered the cathedral and had brought out some of its priceless artworks.

But they had been forced to withdraw as the flames spread rapidly through the wooden beams holding up the roof.

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) on Monday towards the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was partly gutted by a devastating fire.

"We will rebuild Notre-Dame together", an emotional French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday evening as he visited the famed Paris cathedral which was partly ravaged by fire.

With tears in his eyes, Macron said that "the worst has been avoided" thanks to the work of firefighters who battled for hours to save the Gothic cathedral´s two towers and facade.

He vowed to draw on "the best talent" to rebuild what had been destroyed.

He said that "starting tomorrow" he would launch an international appeal for the restoration of the beloved church.

Here are some of the reactions delivered through statements and tweets.

European Union

"Notre Dame "belongs to the whole of humanity. It has inspired writers, painters. philosophers and visitors who have come from all round the world.": EU Commission head Jean Claude Juncker

"Notre Dame of Paris is Notre Dame of the whole of Europe, We are all with Paris today.": EU Council President Donald Tusk

The Vatican 

"We express our closeness with French Catholics and with the Parisian population. We pray for the firefighters and for all those who are trying their best to tackle this dramatic situation,": Vatican spokesman

US 

"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!": President Donald Trump

Britain

"My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral.": British Prime Minister Theresa May

Germany

"These horrible images of Notre-Dame on fire are painful. Notre-Dame is a symbol of France and of our European culture. Our thoughts are with our French friends.": German Chancellor Angela Merkel´s spokesman Steffen Seibert

Spain

"We are following with alarm the news arriving from Paris of the fire at Notre Dame, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. Sad news for our history and our universal cultural heritage.": Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Italy

"A blow to the heart for the French and for us all Europeans".: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte

Belgium 

"Notre Dame de Paris on fire, a huge emotion, Victor Hugo, a part of the history of France, of Europe. My thoughts and support for our French friends.": Prime Minister Charles Michel

Austria 

"Shocking images from Paris. An emblem, a cultural heritage of humanity and one of the most beautiful works of art in French history. Notre Dame is in flames. We hope no one is injured. Our thoughts are with Paris,": Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz

UNESCO 

The UN cultural agency "stands at France´s side to save and restore this priceless heritage": UNESCO secretary general Audrey Azoulay

Anglican Church

"Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic Notre Dame fire - and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ.": Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby