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Heart in ashes: Headlines in France after Notre Dame fire

French president Emmanuel Macron said sadness would be felt across the nation.

Smoke and flames fill the sky as a fire burns at the Notre Dame Cathedral (Philippe Wojazer/Pool via AP)
Smoke and flames fill the sky as a fire burns at the Notre Dame Cathedral (Philippe Wojazer/Pool via AP)

The catastrophic fire at Notre Dame in Paris has made headlines both at home and abroad after flames tore through the historic cathedral.

French president Emmanuel Macron said sadness would be felt across the nation and pledged the country would rebuild parts ravaged by the blaze.

La Croix, a daily Catholic paper in France, carries the headline “Heart in ashes”.

An editorial piece on the front page by editor Guillaume Goubert reads: “A country such as ours, profoundly secular, de-Christianised and which suddenly felt its heart shake to see a church aflame.

“The cathedral in Paris clearly has a specific place in the collective consciousness, in France, in Europe and in the world.

“It has been the most visited monument in Europe for centuries, through wars and revolutions.

“Without anyone being aware of it, this vessel of stone and wood speaks to our rooting in a history where the Christian faith held a decisive place.”

Le Figaro carries the headline “Disaster”, writing that “Faced with this scene of loss, accounts of solidarity and sadness have flocked from across the world”, while Liberation leads with a picture of the fire with “Our tragedy”.

“Our history turned to ashes”, says L’Est Republicain, as Le Telegramme runs with the headline “The unthinkable”.

Nice-Matin concludes: “The fire quickly took hold and the spire, 96 metres high, collapsed into oblivion. The damage could prove catastrophic.”

Elsewhere in continental Europe, Belgian paper De Standaard carries a picture of the spire on the verge of collapse with the headline “Notre-Dame de Paris (1260-2019), while Het Belang Van Limburg runs with “Paris is crying”.

Spanish daily El Pais calls the cathedral a “symbol of European culture”, and Le Soir carries the headline “Flames and tears”, writing: “With the fire at Notre Dame, more than 800 years of history have gone up in smoke.”

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