SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined world leaders on Tuesday (Apr 16) to express his sorrow after the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was ravaged by a fire.
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said he was saddened to learn about the fire.
“Deeply saddened to see the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris engulfed in flames. It is particularly poignant that this happened during Holy Week,” he wrote.
Calling Notre-Dame part of mankind’s heritage, Mr Lee said he shared the sense of loss of the French people over the damage to their national monument.
“The Notre-Dame has stood witness to events in Paris and Europe for more than 850 years. It is part of the heritage of mankind, an expression of the religious faith and human spirit of generations of people who conceived it, built it, and worshipped in it.
“I hope in time, a rebuilt Notre-Dame will fill the Paris skyline,” he wrote.
The colossal fire has left France in shock over the damage to the 850-year-old monument, which is visited by nearly 14 million tourists a year.
Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof, in front of horrified onlookers.
READ: 'We will rebuild Notre-Dame together', says France's Macron
READ: Notre-Dame, loved through the ages yet neglected: Historian
World leaders expressed shock and sent condolences to the French people. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed that France will rebuild Notre-Dame and expressed relief that “the worst had been avoided”.