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Notre Dame burns – updated


David Berlinski, who lives down the street from Notre Dame, writes, “The pompiers were in their glory last night, and, when I was allowed to return home as dawn was breaking, they were still there, red-eyed, exhausted, grim. The police, too. The great cloud of smoke had drifted to the west and south. Later that day, I saw the front of the cathedral. Its towers were still standing, but its great bells, which I had heard every day, were silent.”

From Mark Steyn: “Twenty-four hours after Notre Dame de Paris began to burn, there is better news than we might have expected: More of the cathedral than appeared likely to has, in fact, survived intact – including the famous rose windows, among the most beautiful human creations I’ve ever seen.”

Mark Steyn sums up what it all really means:

Our Way Big Cool post-modern elite cannot keep the great achievements of their own civilization safe.

But—this is the part that concerns our Uncommon Descent readers more directly—as science falls more and more under the rule of the post-modern elite, expect similar, less dramatic – but just as significant – things.

Possibly, multi-mega-billion dollar projects that produce only modest rewards (son of Collider, anyone)? Disciplines wasted by identitarian politics, subtly encouraged from without and within, by essentially unqualified but approved people (medicine gets Woke, anyone?). Stay tuned. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, we fear.

More Mark.

Paris Vows To Rebuild Notre Dame Despite Cosmic Absurdity Of Seeking Inherent Meaning In Fleeting Creations Of Man (The Onion)

Dennis Prager (an observant Jew) writes, “I don’t know if a worker accident or a radical Muslim set fire to Notre Dame Cathedral (as they have scores of other churches around Europe). In terms of what the fire represented, it doesn’t much matter. What matters is the omen: Europe is burning, just as Notre Dame was.”

A horror:

Daily Mail bullet points:

Condolences to the people of France and to lovers of great art everywhere. END

Arson suspected. – News, 17:28 EST Arson ruled out pending investigation (updated EST 17:29 PM EDT)
Blaze linked to renovations.

Nothing will remain ““Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” 17:31 EDT

Background: The Spire of Notre Dame Tumbled Like a Spear Into the Heart of Something Timeless

Background: Why arson was suspected: Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.

More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.

St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, after Notre Dame Cathedral, had the large wooden door on its southern transept set ablaze March 17. (Crux)


Notre Dame (no surprise given its prominence) has been targeted in the recent past:

No surprise, the Cathedral has been targeted before: France jails ‘jihadist’ woman (22) accused over foiled terror attack in Paris
“ONE OF THREE women allegedly involved in a foiled plot in 2016 to blow up a car packed with gas canisters near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was today sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court for earlier offences.”

Current reported state of damage: The French leader credited the “courage” and “great professionalism” of firefighters with sparing Notre Dame’s facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed.

From Popular Mechanics: “Notre Dame has been threatened with collapse before. A New York Times report in 2017 stated that “experts say Notre-Dame, although not at risk of sudden collapse, has reached a tipping point — and an expensive one at that” and reported a $180 million price for appropriate repairs. Much of that money has gone to renovations come from American donors in love with French culture and how the cathedral embodied the nation.”


A firefighter’s view of why these buildings are hard to save.

Works of art feared lost have been saved (scroll down)

Live stream:

A week ago, Notre Dame statues were airborne.