It was about 6:50pm of April 15 when smoke and flames went up from the iconic 850 year-old Notre-Dame de Paris, meaning “Our Lady of Paris” cathedral, which is often just referred to as Notre-Dame (or Notre Dame). The cause of the inferno is yet to be uncovered. However, it is believed to be connected with the ongoing major renovation on the building.
The medieval structure which has been a UNESCO heritage site was built for a period of about 200 years in the 12th and 13th centuries. Despite having lasted for 850 years, experts believe that Notre Dame was until the fire incidence almost as strong and safe as when it was newly built.
It remains a wonder how its builders were able to reach such a high level of professionalism and safety, even without the building technology and equipment we have with us today
From a brief history of the cathedral above I believe you can deduce some of the reasons. Notre Dame awakens different memories for different people: It is the place where Napoleon’s coronation as emperor took place. Also, the Tunic of St. Louis, and the great organ has been preserved in the building, as well as drawings, paintings, and architectural plans of several world events (including world wars).
Furthermore, the very Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus Christ on his way to crucifixion is reportedly preserved in the Notre Dame. Some also believe the building had something to do with neocolonialism of the African race.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the most importants precious items, arts, paintings and statues were saved from the fire, including the Crown of Thorns, St. Louis tunic, the great organ and the rose window among others.
For the sake of emphasis, let’s recall that the construction of Notre Dame cathedral started in the 12th century. It is important to note also that Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century (about 300 years afterwards) when some Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal first visited the country. Furthermore, the Church of England established her first mission in 1842 in Badagry by Henry Townsend.
Report has it that when the structurally highly complex cathedral was engulfed by fire 400 firefighters were on ground to put it under control.
According to French President, Emmanuel Macron, they displayed “extreme courage” and “professionalism” using diverse kinds of equipment and technology to save the most important items in the building without recording any casualty nor causing further damage to the building by the weight and force of the water.
Interestingly, Paris firefighters never saw it as predicting evil occurrence as they regularly underwent training on how to respond in case Notre-Dame ever caught fire. In an interview with The New York Times, Gabriel Plus, a spokesman for the Paris Fire Brigade said the agency held two trainings last year on how to respond to a potential Notre-Dame fire.
Although no lives were losts, Mr Macron had to cancelled a scheduled speech on TV in which he was due to address the street protests that have rocked France for months. He made it to the scene of the burning cathedral hours after the fire started.
Not only did French billionaires pledge as much as $339 million to rebuild Notre Dame, French President, while speaking at the fire site promised to join the people in rebuilding the medieval structure, saying “We will rebuild Notre Dame. Because that it what the French people are expecting.” He said it will be rebuilt in 5 years.
By the way did you observe that water was used to quench the fire at Notre Dame and not the blood of Jesus as in the case of Sam Mbakwe International Airport Owerri, as shown in this video? Take a look:
It’s great to know that FAAN reported there were no casualties from the airport fire. However, videos circulating the social media reveal that several people were badly burned by the fire. My hope is that they were exposed to adequate healthcare early enough to prevent any further damage and to soothe their wounds.
A people who do not amend her ways go continue to dey carry last! My Naija people, I believe that can not be said of Nigeria only if you and I play our part effectively wherever we find ourselves; for there is no better way to serve God than serving humanity as unto God.
What is your opinion? Please leave it in the comment section.