MANILA -- Malacañang has offered thoughts and prayers to the French community following a fire that destroyed the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, a UNESCO world heritage landmark.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace is “deeply saddened and bothered” by the blaze which engulfed the 850-year-old cathedral.
Panelo sympathized with the “pain and sorrow” felt by the millions upon hearing about the fire in a place of worship, and also expressed support for the government of France as it rebuilds the iconic cathedral.
“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,” Panelo said in a statement Tuesday.
“We wish the French nation all the best as they undertake efforts to rebuild this great monument in Paris restored to its majestic sight,” he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, described the Notre Dame Cathedral as an “architectural treasure” and “symbol of Catholicism” admired by different generations through time.
“The Notre Dame Cathedral is an architectural treasure, symbol of Catholicism which housed several historical artifacts, and beloved icon immortalized by French novelist Victor Hugo through one of his novels,” Panelo said, referring to the 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
“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. Their sojourn there left beautiful memories engraved in their hearts and recorded in photographs,” he added.
Reports showed that the fire started engulfing Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, destroying the building’s spire and roof.
However, the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved.
After burning for about eight hours, the fire was extinguished the following day.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but officials say that it could be linked to renovation work.
French President Emmanuel Macron said France would launch a campaign to rebuild the cathedral by seeking help from the international community. (PNA)
Photo from Hubert Hitier/AFP/Getty Images/Vox