Notre Dame cathedral fire: From Theresa May to Donald Trump, world leaders react to devastating blaze

Chelsea Ritschel
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Notre Dame cathedral fire: From Theresa May to Donald Trump, world leaders react to devastating blaze

World leaders have responded to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire with sympathy and prayers for the city of Paris.

Taking to Twitter, leaders including Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Theresa May have acknowledged the fire and its impact as it ravages the historical landmark, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

“Our Lady of Paris (Notre-Dame de Paris) in flames. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight,” the French president wrote in both French and English.

Mr Trump also shared his sympathies over the destruction of the cathedral - and encouraged firefighters to “act quickly”.

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” the US president wrote. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton extended her support to the country as well, writing on Twitter: “My heart goes out to Paris. Notre Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose - to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own.

“I wish France strength and shared purpose as they grieve and rebuild.”

As the fire continues, former US president Barack Obama posted a photo of his family visiting the cathedral and reminded people that it is in our nature to “rebuild”.

“Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost - but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can,” he wrote.

Ms May, from the UK Prime Minister Twitter account, said: “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was praying for “everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps” as he expressed his condolences on Twitter, writing: “Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic Notre Dame fire - and for everyone and France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ.”

“On behalf of the Brazilians, I express deep regret at the terrible fire that plagues one of the greatest symbols of Christian and Western spirituality and culture, the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. In this gloomy moment, our prayers are with the French people,” Brazilian president Jair M Bolsonaro tweeted.

Also among those sharing their heartbreak over the fire were celebrities, including Dua Lipa, Cher, Idris Elba, Ellie Goulding, and William Shatner, all of whom expressed their dismay and sadness over the destruction of the cathedral.