Mackenzie Peterson

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris broke out in flames and suffered damage on Monday, Apr 15 and lasted until Tuesday morning, according to CBS News. The cause of the fire is still unclear, however, arson and terrorism are not suspected.

At the time of the fire, Notre Dame was going through $6.8 million renovations on the spire. According to USA Today, the main structure of the church was preserved. The cathedral’s organ as well as an artifact, the Crown of Thorns, were saved. Notre Dame’s heritage director, Laurent Prades, said the high altar was harmed. This was caused by the spire’s fall.

There were no deaths, and only on injury was reported. France’s president has declared to rebuild the site. As for the artwork that was located inside the Notre Dame Cathedral during the fire, firefighters were able to save many of the pieces.

University of Wisconsin–Stout students shared their opinions regarding these events.

Amanda Groser, a freshman majoring in retail merchandising and Management said, “I do feel saddened by the fire of Notre Dame, however, I’m annoyed by all the posts on my feed.” According to Groser, half of the people posting have not been to the cathedral and are not religious. “They are just posting for relevance. Also, this church receives more attention than real and more devastating problems. Sure, it’s a part of history, but if we don’t act upon those greater, unspoken disasters, we won’t have a history to speak of.”

Cicely Harris, a sophomore majoring in applied social science said, “It’s really cool that they were able to get money to rebuild [Notre Dame].” Cicely believes that it’s nice to know the money is available if a major crisis would need the funding. Though, Harris wonders why that money couldn’t go towards other disasters such as the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the Puerto Rico disaster aid.

Andi Rodrigues, a freshman majoring in retail merchandising and Management said,”Many friends of mine have celebrated Notre Dame being engulfed in flames, citing the event as ‘well deserved by colonizers.’” According to Andi, while he shares the dislike for colonization he said, “I also maintain the position that if we destroy history, we often forget, which is exactly why we must employ nuance in such discussions, not only to ‘pander’ catholics, as my friends have put it, but to respect and remember the struggle that our ancestors have faced.”

According to CBS, many groups have donated money towards Notre Dame’s reconstruction. This includes the LVMH Group, the L’Oréal Group, and many wealthy families. Nearly half a billion euros have been pledged to help restore the site.

According to CNN, France’s president said that he wants the rebuilding to be done within the next five years. However, a restoration expert said it would take ten to 15 years to fully rebuild.