After a fire tore through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, there was a dimming of lights and ringing of church bells in Montreal on Monday.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said her heart was with everyone in Paris and in France.
“I am pained to see flames ravage such a beautiful jewel of patrimony,” she said on social media.
As the sun set in Montreal, city hall went completely dark to pay homage to the damaged cathedral in Paris.
In Paris, firefighters worked to save the towers and to keep a bell from collapsing, but the roof of the cathedral could not be saved. French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild the structure and announced he will launch an international fundraising campaign to restore it.
Quebecer Marie-Ève Gingras, who is vacationing in Paris, had visited the cathedral a few hours before the incident on Monday with her boyfriend. She said it was her first time there in 19 years.
“I’m in shock, for Parisians, for tourists, for everyone. It’s something that is inconceivable,” she said.
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At Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica, which was inspired by its Parisian counterpart, church bells rang out on Monday afternoon. Pastor Miguel Castellanos said he was in shock to learn about the massive fire.
Catellanos described Notre Dame as an “exceptional cultural, historical and religious symbol” known all over the world.
“Our heritage is very fragile,” he wrote. “Together, let’s take great care of it to preserve our treasures.”
Quebec Premier François Legault said he was deeply affected by the event, describing the cathedral as a jewel.
“My thoughts are with Parisians today and with the firefighters who are fighting the flames,” he said.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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