On Monday, April 15 the historic French cathedral, Notre Dame went up in flames, causing catastrophic damage to the landmark. Causes of the fire remain unknown, but French authorities have ruled out arson and terrorism as the reason.

It is said that as many as 400 firefighters were there to try and put out the untamable fire. The firefighters were able to save many artifacts, including statues, candelabras, and religious relics such as a crown of thorns and a tunic worn by Saint Louis, a French monarch from the 13th century. Many people around the world sent their condolences, upon hearing about the devastating tragedy.

Former President Obama wrote a message via Twitter expressing his sympathy toward the fire, “…we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost, but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow.”

As the flames continued to burn, many Paris residents gathered in the city and sang hymns, such as Ave Maria.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, stated that “Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight.”

President Macron plans to have the cathedral rebuilt in five years, but experts say that it will take as long as decades in order for the cathedral to be rebuilt back to its former glory. Despite its shortcomings, many wealthy people from France and around the world plan to donate money to help rebuild Notre Dame. Donors include Francois-Henri Pinault, owner of luxury group Kering, the Bettencourt Meyers family, who owns the famous cosmetic company L’Oréal, and even Apple plans to make a contribution.

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