Scott Hardie | April 15, 2019
What does the burning of Notre-Dame, or the cathedral itself, mean to you?

I happened upon a good summary of what it means to Parisians.

Erik Bates | April 15, 2019
As a Catholic, I am saddened by the loss of a great Cathedral and Basilica. I am hopeful of the news that they were able to save some of the relics inside, though there is much that I'm sure is lost.

As a lover of history, I am saddened by the loss of a great icon that has stood for centuries.

As a citizen of the world, I am saddened by the loss of something that our French brothers and sisters hold so dear.

Scott Hardie | April 16, 2019
I was quite disturbed reading about it yesterday and watching clips. It's such an important building to France and to all of civilization. I know it's just a building, but its seeming loss hurt in the way that the death of a beloved public figure couldn't.

I'm glad to read today that the damage is limited and the building can be repaired within five years. I see that two billionaires already stepped up to fund the expensive work. As far as I'm concerned, the cathedral's restoration should have been well-funded a long time ago. I read that the cost of a proper restoration was estimated to be $44 million, but the French government would only allot $2 million for it. A fire caused by a construction mishap is a sad but forgivable accident; crumbling decay caused by bureaucratic neglect is not. (Seriously; learn from Brazil.)

An interesting question to me is whether or not to replace the spire. It was not there for most of the building's history, only being added 150 years ago. The government probably will replace it, because its absence would come as a shock to too many people who are unaccustomed to seeing the building any other way. But I wonder if this isn't a chance to put the cathedral back to the way it was for most of its lifespan.

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