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Notre Dame de Paris on fire. Reactions pour in from Europe and elsewhere

(B2) The cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris suffered a violent fire shortly before 19 p.m. on Monday (April 15), destroying part of the roof and the spire of the cathedral.

Notre-Dame on fire (credit: FR Ministry of the Interior)

400 soldiers from the Paris fire brigade (BSPP) are mobilized. Two helicopters and drones to guide the firefighters in their operations were mobilized, as well as two pump boats to supply water. A firefighter was seriously injured. The police headquarters broadcast an initial report which shows the extent of the damage and the mobilization of firefighters.

Reactions pour in from all over Europe

« It is with deep sadness that I follow the events in Paris. I am saddened to see these terrible images of Notre-Dame, symbol of France and of our European culture, in flames. Our thoughts are with our French friends » Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

« A blow to the heart for the French and for all of us Europeans » Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime Minister.

« Finland shares the sadness of this terrible fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. Our thoughts are with France and the Parisians tonight. » Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland

« My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral » Theresa May, British Prime Minister.

« The Notre Dame fire is a disaster for France and for Europe. The flames ravage 850 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture. It's going to be hard to forget. France can count on us to recover the greatness of its heritage. » Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain.

« Deeply saddened by the news of the Notre Dame fire. This is not only a national disaster for France, but also a serious loss for the world's cultural heritage. » Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece.

« The burning cathedral of Notre-Dame is a huge tragedy for the Church and European history. […] Poland knows what it means to have lost its heritage destroyed by the conflagration. We rebuilt Warsaw from the ruins on our own. Let's rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral together as Europeans. It is a great symbol of Paris and our Europe. » Mateusz Morawiecki, Polish Prime Minister.

« Paris and France hit hard by a destructive fire at Notre-Dame, one of the most emblematic buildings on our continent. This devastating fire is felt throughout Europe. All my strength to Paris tonight and everyone fighting at Notre-Dame cathedral. » Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister.

« Notre-Dame de Paris on fire, an immense emotion, Victor Hugo, a part of the History of France, of Europe. My thoughts and support for our French Friends » Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minister.

« How sad to see this historical monument, symbol of Paris and the history of France go up in flames before my eyes. » Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

« I am very saddened to see flames over Notre-Dame. This is a huge loss to the whole humanity. I pray the firefighters stop this disaster as soon as possible. » Peter Pellegrini, Slovak Prime Minister.

« My thoughts are with the French people and the whole Catholic world. It is terrible to witness 8 centuries of history destroyed in Notre-Dame Fire. The courage of all Parisian firefighters who are doing their best tonight to save this heritage will never be forgotten. » Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian Prime Minister.

« Unbelievable and shocking. We pray for Notre Dame. » Dalia Grybauskaite Lithuanian President.

« All my strength to Paris tonight and everyone fighting at Notre-Dame cathedral. » Juri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia.

« I am appalled by the images of the violent fire which ravaged the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. Unmeasured sadness at the disaster that strikes one of the greatest monuments of European cultural heritage. I express our sympathy and wish to limit the damage » Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus.

“France, Europe, humanity: all of us have lost a lot today. J. M. Notre Dame » Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta.

« Notre Dame is one of the world's great treasures, and we're thinking of the people of France in your time of grievance. It's in our nature to die when we see history lost – but it's also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can » Barack Obama, former US President

« I am following the fire to which Notre-Dame de Paris is falling prey, minute by minute. Notre-Dame de Paris belongs to all of humanity. What a sad sight. How awful. I share the emotion of the French nation which is also ours » Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

« Notre-Dame is part of European and even world heritage. When she suffers, we all suffer » Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission.

« It hurts the heart to watch Notre-Dame in flames. Slovenia will best help Paris and France to restore a monument of universal value. » Miro Cerar, Slovenian Foreign Minister.*

« We learned with the greatest regret the tragic news of the fire which ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The images with this symbol of European culture engulfed in flames are striking. Our thoughts are with all our friends » Teodor Melescanu, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

« Notre-Dame de Paris is part of my personal experience, it is a symbol of Europe and our common history. I share the pain of our French friends on this sad day. Paris survived the war again and again » Josep Borrell Fontelles, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs.*

« Such shocking and sad images from Paris Notre-Dame. » Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs

« I'm crying. It's so terrible. I went there for the first time when I was 11 years old. For me, it’s Paris. Thought for Catholics, Parisians, all French people » Franziska Brantner, Member of the Bundestag (Greens)

(NGV)

*Translation by us

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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