'We will rebuild Notre-Dame together', says France's Macron

'We will rebuild Notre-Dame together', says France's Macron

Edouard Philippe (left) and Emmanuel Macron (2nd right)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (left), and French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd right) gather near the entrance of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, as flames engulf its roof. (AFP/PHILIPPE WOJAZER)

PARIS: "We will rebuild Notre-Dame together", an emotional French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday (Apr 15) evening as he visited the famed Paris cathedral which was partly ravaged by fire.

With tears in his eyes, Macron said that "the worst has been avoided" thanks to the work of firefighters who battled for hours to save the Gothic cathedral's two towers and facade.

READ: Notre-Dame, soul of the French nation

He vowed to draw on "the best talent" to rebuild what had been destroyed.

"What happened tonight in Paris and at Notre-Dame Cathedral is a terrible tragedy," Macron said.

"The worst was avoided even if the battle has not been completely won yet and the next few hours will be difficult."

The 41-year-old president described the 850-year-old monument at the heart of Paris as "the epicentre of our life" and the cathedral of "all the French", whether religious or not.

READ: Notre-Dame, loved through the ages yet neglected: Historian

He said that "starting tomorrow" he would launch an international appeal for the restoration of the beloved church.

"And we will rebuild Notre-Dame because it is what the French expect," he said, flanked by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit.

Source: AFP/de