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PM Lee expresses sadness over Notre-Dame Cathedral fire; laments loss of history and heritage

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a view of a city with smoke coming out of it: A huge fire swept through the roof of the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019, sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year. Photo: Fabien Barrau/AFP A huge fire swept through the roof of the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019, sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year. Photo: Fabien Barrau/AFP

A devastating fire that engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday blazed through the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, causing the spire to collapse in the hours it took to bring the flames under control. But in the early hours of Tuesday morning, firefighters won the battle against the blaze, saving the main structure of iconic French monument and its two towers.

Many Singaporeans woke up this morning to news of the fire, and even though French president Emmanuel Macron said the worst was avoided, he warned that the flames could continue to burn for days.

People across the globe expressed sorrow over the damage done to the historic landmark, which was especially poignant and tragic as Catholics grieved the destruction of Notre-Dame during Holy Week, in the days leading up to Easter.

Leaders around the world offered words of commiseration and support in response, with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sharing a Facebook post on how he was “deeply saddened” to see the flames blaze their way through Notre-Dame.

“I share the sense of loss of the French people over the damage to their national monument and the treasures it contained,” he said. “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 added.

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