Historian Says China’s Construction Expertise Can Help Restore Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral
(Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

The Notre Dame Cathedral suffered great damage after it was gutted by fire on Monday. Now, France has started works to assess the extent of the destruction and restoration efforts will begin at once since the building was doused with water which could add more damage to the artworks and other items inside the cathedral.

French President Emmanuel Macron immediately launched a fundraising campaign and ask those who could help to send in donations for the Notre Dame Cathedral to be restored to its original majestic beauty. It had withstood war and chaos for many centuries so it broke the heart of the world when it was engulfed by the blaze.

"We will rebuild this cathedral all together and it is undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we will have for the coming years, a national subscription will be launched, and well beyond our borders we will appeal to the greatest talent, and there are many who will come to contribute and rebuild," Al Jazeera quoted the French president as saying.

Just a day after President Macron's call for contributions, people around the world responded with many billionaire families pledging millions of euros for the revival of the Notre Dame Cathedral. So far, as donations continue to roll in, the funds are close to a billion already as rich French families led by LVMH, Gucci along with American companies like Apple, Ubisoft and Disney have pledged huge sums of money.

More than the monetary contributions, a report from China Daily stated that China can play a big role if it will help with the actual rebuilding of the 850-year-old Gothic edifice. In the report, a historian from the U.K. said that with China's renowned expertise in construction, Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral would be skillfully restored to its glory.  

Alan Macfarlane, a historian and professor emeritus at King's College in London, relayed that with China's exceptional expertise in the field of construction and engineering, it could definitely help out with renovation efforts for the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Paris.

"it would be a very appreciated gesture if the people of China offered their help in whatever way the French thought appropriate to rebuild a symbol for all of our world," he said. "The Chinese have built the largest airport in the world, a far larger job than rebuilding Notre Dame, in less than three years, they could be of immense help."

Meanwhile, China's President Xi Jinping sent his message of support and expressed his sincere condolences to the French citizens. Just like the rest of the world, the Chinese people were also saddened and felt a deep sense of loss after the Notre Dame fire for the cathedral is more than just a structure, it is a symbol of hope and Catholicism in history that cannot be replaced.

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