April 16, 2019
notre dame is burning.
this is ok.
it has happened before. it will happen again. it has been lost before. it will be lost again. and again. and again. and again. art and architecture are transient, and temporary, and 850 years may seem like a lot to the individual, who will live maybe 100 if they are very lucky and very healthy, but even the pyramids at saqqara have only existed for about 6000 years and that's still not all that much, if you consider the grand scheme of things.
yes, this is terrible. as someone who is deeply religious and literally a professional historian with a focus on art and architecture, this is terrible. im mourning. im gutted. im horrified and upset and miserable. but.
it's not over.
victor hugo wrote hunchback because notre dame du paris was in the process of collapsing and falling apart, and revitalized the entire world's focus and love for this church, and that was not even 200 years ago. it led to it being renovated.
the roof has fallen in. the scars of fires are on its buttresses. the rose window has fallen out. the beams and piers have collapsed. the spire has toppled. the stones have suffered, and will suffer again, but it is not gone.
renovation work is essential. sometimes things collapse and burn and break and have to come back. it's not a terrorist attack, it's renovation, an accident, but we have so much evidence, history, carefully documented everything on one of the most studied places in the world.
it's not the end.
Hey so, French person here. And also an ex History student. I'm here to say: Please listen to o.p. above.
Obviously everyone is shocked but here's a few important key facts:
The roof is completely gone. Part of it dated back from the 13th century but the rest was from the 19th. The stone arch roof under the top roof is fine.
One of the three main stained glass rose windows has fallen out. Most of the other stained glass windows are okay.
The spire has fallen down and that's the saddest part. BUT! It was in the process of being restored and the 16 statues that were there were removed just four days ago! So they're fine.
The main structure is still here and nothing has "burned down" unlike what some people have been saying.
The "treasure" (sacred objects) is safe.
Notre Dame is still there. It's just damaged. Almost nothing was lost today, and nobody was wounded either. It's scary, but it's gonna be okay.
The only thing that should follow "i'm not racist, but..." is "I do live in a system of institutionalized racism that I absorb & actively benefit from"