Notre Dame Cathedral
15th May 2019, Île de la Cité, Paris, France
DATE: 16/4/2019
On the afternoon of 15th of May, a fire started to spread through the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral, in the île de la Cité, in Paris. Only 15 hours after were the firefighters able to completely extinguish the flames.

According to the newspaper The Guardian: "The fire, which had started at the base of the 93-metre spire at about 6.40pm on Monday, spread through the cathedral’s ribbed roof, made up of hundreds of oak beams, some dating back to the 13th century". The central spire entirely caught on fire and ended up collapsing inside the nave. 

Regarding some of the artifacts held at Notre Dame Cathedral, The Guardian states: "The culture minister, Franck Riester, said religious relics saved from the cathedral, including the Crown of Thorns and Saint Louis’s tunic, were being securely held at the Hôtel de Ville, and works of art that sustained smoke damage were being taken to the Louvre where they would be dried out, restored and stored."

"Sixteen copper statues that decorated the spire, representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists, had been removed for restoration only a few days before the fire. Relics at the top of the spire are believed lost as the spire was destroyed."

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has announced that France will launch an international architectural competition to redesign the roofline of Notre Dame Cathedral.

The construction of the church began in 1160 and lasted for over a century. Many were there alterations and additions that turned this building into the gothic architectural icon it is known as today. 
This monument has earned a space in humanity´s imaginarium and memory, surviving the test of time, and participating in several important events. In agreement with the words of UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay: 

“Notre Dame represents a historically, architecturally, and spiritually, outstanding universal heritage. It is also a monument of literary heritage, a place that is unique in our collective imagination. Heritage of the French but also of humanity as a whole. This drama reminds us of the power of heritage that connects us to one another. We are receiving messages of support from all over the world.”

In the awake of yesterday´s sad events, Docomomo International stands in solidarity with France, with all the congregation of the Notre Dame Cathedral and all the admirers of this cathedral that still stands as a unique example of Universal Heritage. 
Docomomo International trusts that, although it might take a while, a sucessful rehabilitation will be carried out and the Notre Dame Cathedral will be once again a space of religious and cultural worship.

The Guardian´s full article: link

Photo credit: Zuffe, 2009. CC BY-SA 3.0