Notre-Dame de Paris

ICCROM is shocked and saddened by the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, and extends its heartfelt sympathy and solidarity with Parisians, the French people and the Catholic Church at this tragic time. It is a terrible loss for the world.

As part of the World Heritage Site of the Banks of the Seine, this landmark of civilization has outstanding and universal significance. The tragedy in Paris has met with an outpouring of emotion from all around the world, as heads of state and leading organizations declare solidarity with the French people and with emergency and heritage professionals fighting the blaze and preparing for the recovery stage.

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO in Paris, tweeted: “An immense emotion before the dramatic fire at the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, inscribed as World Heritage since 1991.  UNESCO is following the situation closely and stands beside France to safeguard and rehabilitate this priceless heritage.”

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António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, also sent a tweet: « Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral - a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century. My thoughts are with the people and government of France. »

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, has already vowed to rebuild the structure.  “We shall rebuild Notre Dame, all together.  It’s part of our French destiny. I commit: from tomorrow we shall launch a call for funds, both nationally and well beyond our borders.”

Fire has again seriously damaged an iconic heritage asset. Aware of this major threat to cultural heritage, ICCROM is deeply engaged in sector preparedness for disastrous fire events, and in inculcating a culture of resilience and fire prevention amongst heritage organizations.

ICCROM’s Director-General Dr Webber Ndoro has declared:

“ICCROM is with Paris and the world at this tragic moment.  ICCROM stands ready to provide assistance and support through the UNESCO team, and to cooperate with the French government in whatever form needed to assess the damage.”