MALACAÑANG yesterday expressed its solidarity with the people of France after a massive fire gutted the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace was “deeply saddened and bothered” by the devastating blaze at the landmark on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time).
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France as well as in solidarity with the rest of the world for this heartbreaking incident,” he said.
“We wish the French nation all the best as they undertake efforts to rebuild this great monument in Paris restored to its majestic sight.”
Panelo called the cathedral an “architectural treasure” and “symbol of Catholicism” which housed several historical artifacts.
The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, was the setting in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
It is a focal point for French Roman Catholics who like Christians around the world are celebrating Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“Thousands of various races have at one time or another stood either by themselves or with their families or friends in front of this historic cathedral and marvel at its architectural grandeur,” Panelo said.
“Their sojourn there left beautiful memories engraved in their hearts and recorded in photographs. Pain and sorrow were felt by the millions upon hearing the catastrophic fire of the Notre Dame place of worship,” he added.
The cathedral was in the midst of renovations. Built over a century starting in 1163, Notre Dame is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.