We mourn today with France, with Christians, with all mankind

Notre-Dame-1

Today, we are all French. Today, we gasp, we ache, we mourn. Today, we feel a nauseating sense of loss. Today, we weep.

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is surely, along with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, among the three most famous Christian churches in the world. And with good reason. It is — it was — magnificent.

The sheer size of the cathedral was stunning. For it to have been commissioned 850 years ago, and finished, largely, 700 years ago, makes its achievement even more mind-boggling. A person would walk through and say out loud, “How did they do this without motorized cranes, without modern alloys to help lift the stones and beams, before the flowering of knowledge and science that was the Renaissance?”

How did they figure out how to do those flying buttresses? How did they create that astonishingly beautiful rose window? What remarkable sense of devotion, of faith, inspired them?

Words fail at the tragedy that is this cathedral’s destruction. The mind wonders how authorities could have failed to have firefighting assets pre-positioned to respond immediately to a nightmare like this. Then guilt sets in for thinking of assigning blame in the midst of a disaster that hurts so badly, so deeply, especially to the French people who rightly were so proud of the glorious edifice.

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French Senate votes to restore Notre Dame to its original state

May 28, 2019

The French Senate voted to approve plans to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral and added a clause stipulating that it must be restored to how it was before the fire.

There has been controversy surrounding the restoration of the centuries old church, which was gutted by a massive fire last month. Some have called for the Notre Dame to be rebuilt exactly as it was, while others have pushed to add more modern elements to the Parisian landmark.

The Senate approved the bill Monday which would have the Notre Dame restored before Paris hosts the 2024 summer Olympics, but added that the cathedral must be rebuilt to its “last known visual state.”

The additional language is a rebuff of the government, which had launched an international architecture competition soliciting ideas for the Notre Dame’s redesign. The Senate also removed a clause that would have given the government the power to override planning regulations.

There has been intense debate in Paris over the restoration. French President Emmanuel Macron had called for “an inventive reconstruction” of the cathedral to make it “more beautiful than before.” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that she favors restoring the monument to how it originally was.

Macron does not have veto power, so the matter will return to the Senate and National Assembly to negotiate an agreement on a final version that will become law.

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    • Ekaterina Semeniouk
    • April 16th, 2019

    Физически больно видеть это.. Трудно передать словами весь ужас произошедшего вчера вечером. Последствия для мировой истории и культуры только предстоит осознать.

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