After touching down at Chicago O’Hare airport I switched on my cellphone to check for latest e-mails and news. The first push notification that popped up on the screen was that Notre Dame was ablaze, together with one of those horrific images that the whole world had to endure yesterday.
It seems the Paris firefighters did a fantastic job saving at least the structure of that iconic symbol of christianity and demonstration of what man can create. But the losses to art and history will still be insurmountable.
There will be a rebuilding effort to the building that took more than two hundred years to built, stood more than 800 years and survived the French Revolution and two World Wars. But it might might take very well decades to fully restore this magnificent cathedral to its full glory. And I hope to live to one day walk down once more the central aisle and feel the awe I always felt when visiting this place of god, art, history and light.
As I’m on a business trip and traveling light, I didn’t bring the USB drive with my full photo library. The only photo of Notre Dame I was able to pull was the one I uploaded ten years ago to my Flickr account (that I really don’t use anymore but that is still there). I was passing through Paris on yet another business trip, and while walking from the hotel to the law firm for a negotiation meeting, we passed Notre Dame on that cold January morning and I snapped that image with the Panasonic TZ-5 I was using back then as compact travel camera. The magnificent roof, the spire, and most likely also the beautiful stained glass windows are no more.
When back home on the Easter weekend I will look through all my old images from my visits to Notre Dame and post a proper tribute to this Cathedral of Light, that hopefully will rise again from the ashes.
Have a great Tuesday!