Politicians and public figures around the world are expressing their sympathies on a massive fire at the historic Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, ONA reports.
Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he shared the sadness of the French people mourning the devastation of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and hoped it would be restored to remain a symbol of the faith of their forefathers.
“I associate myself with your sadness, as well as that of the faithful of your diocese, the inhabitants of Paris and all the French,” Francis said in a message to the archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit.
“This disaster seriously damaged a historic building. But I realize that it has also affected a national symbol dear to the hearts of Parisians and French in the diversity of their convictions,” he said.
Calling the cathedral the “architectural jewel of a collective memory,” the pope hoped that after it is restored it could once again be a “sign of the faith of those who built it, mother church of your diocese, architectural and spiritual heritage of Paris, France and humanity.”
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has sent a message to French President Emmanuel Macron to say she was deeply saddened by the fire which engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday and that her prayers were with all of France, Buckingham Palace said.
Elizabeth’s oldest son Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, said he too was “utterly heartbroken” to learn of the fire.
“Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened to see the images of the fire which has engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral,” Elizabeth’s message said.
“I extend my sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument. My thoughts and prayers are with those who worship at the Cathedral and all of France at this difficult time.”
Charles who has expressed strong feelings about protecting traditional architecture, said in a message to Macron: “I realize only too well what a truly special significance the cathedral holds at the heart of your nation; but also for us all outside France it represents one of the greatest architectural achievements of Western Civilization.”
He added: “It is a treasure for all mankind and, as such, to witness its destruction in this most dreadful conflagration is a shattering tragedy, the unbearable pain of which we all share.”