Notre Dame in flames: A modern day tragedy
Notre Dame… Notre Coeur
A modern-day French tragedy
A modern-day French tragedy
Last night a huge fire blast lit up Parisian sky. One of the most iconic and beloved French sights was on fire. Parisians wept in the streets and millions around the world gathered around their TV’s to watch the historic monument go up in flames. When the central spire collapsed, the French capital froze, along with it the rest of the world. A major part of human history and architecture, was quickly slipping away.
Notre Dame is the heart of Paris, hence the Coeur. It was half-ruined by the 1800s, even set for demolition, but Victor Hugo’s novel and Napoleon’s decision to be crowned an Emperor there, saved this architectural marvel. The French President in light of this tragedy said: “Notre Dame of Paris is our history. “The epicenter of our lives. It’s the many books, the paintings, those that belong to all French men and French women, even those who’ve never come.” As someone who’s been in Paris several times, I can’t imagine not strolling by the Seine and not be astonished by the colossal structure and attention to detail. I can’t imagine what a horrific sight this must have been for thousands of Parisians who gathered on the other side of the Seine last night, watching their beloved Cathedral blazing in flames.
Unlike in the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Victor Hugo’s book, the Cathedral may not outsurvive us. The stones started melting but the famous rose stained glass windows seem that they were just damaged. Who knows? In the face of this cultural tragedy nobody knows anything for sure.
People around the world today, over with their morning coffee, discuss about this ominous incident. Some believe it is a terrorist attack in light of the fact that for Catholics, this is the Holy Week of Easter. The fact that many French churches have been subject to vandalism and arson, intensify the theories. Others claim that is a renovation accident. To me at least, it doesn’t matter at this point. What matters is that a cathedral that survived 856 years, the plague, demolition plans, two World Wars, was on Hitler’s must-destroy list and earthquakes, today was consumed by fire.
This is how I choose to remember Notre Dame
Of course, Macron vowed that it will be restored. But the former glory of the legendary Cathedral will never be fully restored. The stones won’t sing the tales of almost a 1000 years. People visiting Paris will be cheated of the experience. Because Notre Dame is an integral part of the Parisian experience. And despite the fact that the fire, although not completely extinguish is under control, is a sign that despite all the technological advances of modern era; we as humans didn’t find a way of extinguishing these incidents from happening.
It’s a sad day for humanity today. I know that no human lives were lost, which is the only upside to this tragedy. I know that some precious artifacts were saved, I know that the French won’t allow their Lady to get lost entirely and they will rebuild it. But it pains me that centuries of art, innovation and history were swept off in one night. It hurts my soul that in a skyhigh grey-box building world, a Gothic masterpiece wasn’t treasured enough to avoid this horrific incident from happening.
Our Notre Dame….
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