“Paris Is Beheaded”: Macron Vows To Rebuild Notre Dame After Horrific Fire; Interior Largely Spared

Update 11: While the staggering outside damage to the historic French cathedral has yet to be assessed, it would appear that despite the massive damage to the frame and the wooden roof, the inside of the Notre Dame was miraculously spared.

The interior of the cathedral is 427 by 157 feet, with its 115-foot-high roof. Two massive early Gothic towers crown the western facade, which is divided into three stories and has its doors adorned with early Gothic carvings and surmounted by a row of figures of Old Testament kings.

Some more good news: many of the centuries-old artworks and relics from the cathedral were removed by firefighters, according to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. She wrote on Twitter she was at a loss for words “to express the pain I feel in the face of the ravaging flames. Tonight Parisians and the French mourn this symbol of our common history.”

Meanwhile, French President Macron vowed to rebuild Notre-Dame after a massive fire ravaged the 850-year-old Gothic monument and left France in shock over the extensive damage to one of the nation’s most iconic landmarks. The blaze raged for more than four hours on Monday evening before Macron declared the two bell towers and facade had been saved. Flames had engulfed the roof, snaking up the ornate spire before it collapsed as smoke billowed out into the evening skyline of the French capital. Around 500 firefighters battled the inferno.

“We will rebuild Notre-Dame because that’s what the French people want,” said Macron, who was visibly moved. “That’s what our history deserves, because that is our destiny.”

The historic church, located on one of two islands in the middle of the Seine River, had been under renovation and scaffolding had covered much of the top structure. French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said it’s too early to say what caused the fire while Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation.

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Update 10: Emmanuel Macron has arrived on scene, and is giving a speech outside the cathedral, after authorities claimed that the body of the cathedral has been ‘saved and preserved’.

“It is our common history that is burning, he said.”

Meanwhile, a drawing of Quasimodo, the animated hunchback of Notre Dame from the 1996 Disney film, has gone viral as a symbol of mourning and loss after the tragedy.

Update 9: The Vatican has released a statement on the fire at Notre Dame bemoaning the tragedy and offering prayers for French Catholics.

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