Report from Paris by Michael Strömgren - Briab - Brand, Risk & Säkerhet


Report from Paris by Michael Strömgren

With an uneasy feeling I approached Notre-Dame after arriving in Paris yesterday. The first thing I see are road blocks and a massive crowd of people slowly and silently moving towards the cathedral to get a look at what the fire has done and whats left. The two square towers are still symbolically standing, but the absence of the beautiful spire is very obvious. In the midst of the charred cathedral there is however a light of hope and future as the main construction with its walls and the big hall is still standing strong. The question on everybodys mind is of course the extent of the damage by the fire, water and soot? We will find out in the coming days.

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Interview with a saddened Parisian

To get an insight to what the Notre-Dame de Paris means to the people of Paris and France I ventured to ask a man standing quietly beside med looking at the church and what remains of it.

M. Hello Sir, do you mind if I ask you a few questions about what you think and feel after this terrible disaster? 

D: Of course, my name is Denys Wissler. I’m from Paris and I was born here.

M: And where were you yesterday when you heard a fire started?

D: I was in my office in Montparnasse and I heard it on the radio. So yes, I got the news but I just went to my home, and I saw the smoke when I turned on my TV.

M: Did you notice anything when you were outside, was there smoke and smell of fire in the air?

D: Yes at 7pm when I was riding my bike. I was surprised because quite a lot of smoke was all over Paris, a gray and yellow smoke. I understod it was a fire in the sky, since it was changing color. It was impossible for me to imagine the fire being the Notre-Dame because it’s a symbol of our city. For me, it’s monumental. Yes, it’s very, very great. It’s our heart. I’m Catholic and I know Notre-Dame well. When I was young I attended a lot of ceremonies there. It’s my home. So, it’s really the heart of every Parisian.

M: So what do you feel now.

D:  I hope that it is an accident. Because if we learned that it was not an accident, there would be a massive reaction in France. Notre-Dame is not a simple church and it is a symbol of our history. It is magnificent and symbolic holding history of Napoleon Bonaparte and our kings.

M: Well, thank you Denys for taking time with me. We certainly hope that this landmark will be restored back to it’s normal beauty in the years to come.

As a sign of the unique place Notre-Dame has in the hearts of the French people more than €600 million has been pledged so far, by wealthy French individuals and corporations to secure the rebuilding of the cathedral.

Michael will keep writing reports in the days to come to keep us updated.

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