Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message of sympathy to French President Emmanuel Macron after a fire ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
The British monarch says she was “deeply saddened” to see the cathedral ablaze, and expressed “sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument.”
British politicians and religious leaders have also sent messages of goodwill and offers of help in rebuilding the medieval building.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Church of England, tweeted an image of the fire-damaged cathedral with a passage from the Bible: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'”
The Vatican’s culture minister has offered words of hope to France following the devastating fire at Notre Dame, saying the cathedral is a “living creature” that has been reborn before and will continue to be the “beating heart” of France.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi opened a Vatican press conference with a personal reflection on the cathedral. He noted it was a place of encounter for both believers and nonbelievers drawn to its beauty and in some cases, such as the 19th century French poet Paul Claudel, were converted to the Catholic faith as a result.
Ravasi, whose office oversees the patrimony of the Catholic Church worldwide, said he was moved by the scenes of faithful and tourists alike weeping as Notre Dame went up in flames.
He suggested that the Vatican, particularly its art experts at the Vatican Museums, could play a possible role in the rebuilding given their expertise.
The Paris prosecutor says there’s no evidence of arson in the Notre Dame fire and that they’re working on the assumption that the blaze was an accident.
Remy Heitz says the investigation will be “long and complex.”
Speaking Tuesday, after the blaze was put out, he said 50 investigators are working on the probe. He says they will be interviewing workers from five companies that had been hired to work on renovations to the cathedral’s roof, which was being repaired before the fire and which is where the flames first broke out.
Salma Hayek’s husband, the French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, pledged almost $113 million to rebuild Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral after Monday’s devastating fire.
Pinault announced Tuesday that he will draw almost $113 million in funds from his family’s investment firm, Artemis, “to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre-Dame,” the French newspaper Le Figaro reported.