One of this world’s most important edifices caught fire and millions of men women and children were watching from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Notre Dame Cathedral attracted millions of visitors from all over the globe and it was as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower. But the appeal of the church went beyond its religious or cultural significance. The history attached to it, the knowledge that it witnessed revolutions, political storms invasions, wars, and more while opening its doors to pilgrims from all over the world and it always seemed to stand strong to make the French proud, led all to believe that it will always be there. Words of lamentation came from all over the world and in a hundred languages with promises to contribute to rebuild the temple.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, already known for his language skills, delivered a message in French to the people of France. He said Notre Dame is like a gift for all of humanity and that we share their sorrow. The entire world watched in horror as the famous spire collapsed reminding us of 9/11 and the towers. And the desire to rebuild regardless of the cost was put into words by President Emmanuel Macron. Just in France, they announced that 700 million Euros had been promised by day 2. Some experts have pegged the cost of rebuilding at around 10 to 15 billion. And there are thousands of millionaires who can contribute to the monumental task of reviving Notre Dame, of bringing back part of its old glory. It is impossible to revive the church as it was because the kind of wood that was used doesn’t exist, besides being highly impractical. We have modern technology to rebuild the roof and other parts of the church with more sturdy and fire-proof materials. There was jubilation among the firemen and the faithful gathered around the church when it was learned that the item that is supposed to be the crown Jesus worn was saved. That is something that belongs to our historic and cultural heritage, not limited to faith. We don’t need to share the same religious beliefs, because these structures belong to the whole world. They are irreplaceable treasures. It might be difficult to find the people with the necessary skills to rebuild, masons, carpenter, architects, painters, etc.
Or maybe, now that the Sagrada Familia construction seems to be finally coming to an end, there will be thousands of skilled craftsmen looking for work. And there are skilled people in Europe and elsewhere who would consider it an honor to see the spire rise again. There is no doubt that France will be able to raise the money to rebuild Notre Dame regardless of the cost, the whole world is willing to contribute. Like the Sistine Chapel, The Blue Mosque, or the Alqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Westminster Cathedral, St. Patrick’s in New York, these monuments belong to all of humanity and we want to continue to share the creativity, the talent and the spiritual strength they represent.