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Notre Dame Fire- a wound at the very heart of Paris !

  • Tuesday, 16 April 2019
  • Linda Chivell

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It survived eight centuries of plague, war, revolution, and the Nazis. How could it be burning?

It was Holy Week and nearing end of day, and the setting sun was as fierce red-orange as the terrible blaze engulfing Notre-Dame—Notre-Dame!—when the spire, spindly and delicate during its long life and now consumed by flames, collapsed. It was near 7:50 p.m. The sky was still light. The unthinkable has happened.

Before the fire This photograph taken on June 26 2018 shows the transept of Notre Dame Cathedral

How could Notre-Dame be burning? How could Notre-Dame, which had survived for eight centuries—survived plague and wars of religion, survived the French Revolution, survived the Nazis—be falling? Notre-Dame, the heart of Paris, not only a Catholic site but the preeminent symbol of European cultural consciousness, the heart of France, the kilometre zero from which all its farthest villages are measured—how could this majestic structure collapse so fast? One the faces in the crowd were written sadness and pain. The enormity of the loss had not yet quite settled.

People watch from a bridge as smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral during a fire on April 15 2019

The silence was interrupted by the clicking of camera lenses. And then there were cell phones. Hundreds of people filming, photographing, sharing the tragedy, so many that the networks were jammed. Trying to capture in a few pixels what had stood for centuries, a symbol of endurance, of architectural achievement.

Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15 2019

To the Parisians, Notre-Dame is as familiar as a landscape and as solid as a mountain.

Built in the Gothic era, destroyed in the social-media era.

Original Article & photos: https://www.theatlantic.com




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