Notre-Dame Set Ablaze During Reconstruction


Kailyn Baumann, Contributor

A fire raged through Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. The city came to an almost standstill as thousands paused to watch in horror and grief as the famed cathedral erupted in orange flames before their very eyes. People from across the globe watched it unfold through news livestreams and social media.

“I was shocked when I first heard of the fire,” junior Sydney Gellert said. “[Notre-Dame] was one of their [the French people’s] buildings, something they constructed hundreds of years ago. It’s a piece of their history as a nation. It’s devastating.”

The fire destroyed all but one-third of the roof and the iconic spire collapsed as well. Thankfully, most of the artwork and irreplaceable Christian artifacts like the Crown of Thorns were saved by firefighters.

“I heard that they’re rebuilding Notre-Dame and it should be done by next year,” freshman Kasey Bryant said. “It’ll take a lot of work, though.”

President of France Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild Notre-Dame within five years, but that brings up the issue of how architects will rebuild the cathedral. Since the time of the fire, more than a billion dollars have been donated in the reconstruction, but this has also sparked debate and outrage. The Yellow Vest movement for social equality in France has criticized the donations, saying the money can better benefit social organizations that provide aid to the homeless and those with little food.

“I think that all the money that was spent trying to save Notre-Dame is gracious, but all that money could’ve easily solved hunger in Africa or in other places,” sophomore Nic Ayers said. “I mean, we’re not the billionaires. All we can do is pray, help where we can, and hope for the best.”