Vale sends message of hope to Paris - The Evesham Observer

Vale sends message of hope to Paris

Rob George 21st Apr, 2019   0

THE VICAR of Evesham has offered a message of support to the people of Paris following the catastrophic blaze which ripped through Notre-Dame, devastating the 850-year-old Gothic landmark.

Crowds of horrified Parisians gathered along the River Seine to watch as the inferno took hold on Monday evening, tearing down the historic roof and sending the iron spire, weighing an estimated 750 tonnes, crashing to the ground.

Some could be seen openly weeping, while others sang hymns or said prayers.

Brave firefighters worked through the night to preserve its structure and their heroic efforts were rewarded when the fire was extinguished just after 9am on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Observer, Rev Andrew Spurr said: “The fire was a tragedy but mercifully there was no loss of life. Our sacred buildings are treasured spaces – they are uniquely at the intersection of the past, the present and eternity.

“They are also open to everyone, of any faith or none. As we lament the damage, it is also an opportunity to reflect on what it is that has been lost? What does it represent to us?

“The building will be repaired and there will be an opportunity for new additions making a new chapter to the story of a holy site which goes back almost a thousand years,” he added.

While the spire and roof have collapsed, the main structure of the cathedral, including the two iconic bell towers, has been saved, according to officials.

France’s culture minister said the ‘most precious treasures’ had been saved following the blaze, including the crown of thorns Catholic relic and the tunic of Saint Louis.

Franck Riester said other works were being transferred to the Louvre where they will be dehumidified, protected and eventually restored.

Worcestershire county councillor Chris Bloore was in Paris when the fire broke out and spoke to the Observer about the ‘unbelievable’ scenes in the French capital.

“The fire was clearly getting through the wooden structure and I saw two explosions. I saw the two turrets fall and then saw the spire and roof had collapsed,” he said.

“People just gasped when that happened.”

Coun Bloore praised the bravery of the estimated 400 firefighters who worked through the night to save the building.

“The job they have done has been amazing,” he added.

A firefighter was seriously injured tackling the blaze and prosecutors have opened an investigation into the fire, examining whether renovation work on the landmark could have played a part in the destruction.

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