International leaders voiced their sorrow and solidarity with the French people as fire ravaged the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday (15 April).
Here are some reactions delivered through statements and tweets.
– European Union –
Notre Dame “belongs to the whole of humanity. It has inspired writers, painters, philosophers and visitors who have come from all round the world. What a sad spectacle. How awful. I share the emotion of the French nation, which is also ours. – EU Commission head Jean Claude Juncker
Je suis minute par minute l'incendie dont Notre-Dame de Paris est la proie. Notre-Dame de Paris appartient à l'humanité toute entière.
Quelle triste spectacle. Quelle horreur. Je partage l'émotion de la nation française qui est aussi la nôtre.https://t.co/CyBYBJZ9Q0
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) April 15, 2019
“Notre Dame of Paris is Notre-Dame of the whole of Europe. We are all with Paris today.” – EU Council President Donald Tusk
Notre-Dame de Paris est Notre-Dame de toute l’Europe. We are all with Paris today.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 15, 2019
– Vatican –
“We express our closeness with French Catholics and with the Parisian population. We pray for the firefighters and for all those who are trying their best to tackle this dramatic situation.” – Vatican spokesman
– United Nations –
“Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre-Dame Cathedral – a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century. My thoughts are with the people and government of France.” – Secretary General Antonio Guterres
Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral – a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century. My thoughts are with the people and government of France. https://t.co/KnLegnlRFH
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 15, 2019
– Trump –
“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!” – US President Donald Trump
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
– UNESCO –
The UN cultural agency “stands at France’s side to save and restore this priceless heritage.” – UNESCO secretary general Audrey Azoulay
Immense émotion devant le dramatique incendie à la cathédrale #NotreDamedeParis, inscrite au #Patrimoine mondial depuis 1991. L’#UNESCO suit de près la situation et se tient aux côtés de la France pour sauvegarder et réhabiliter ce patrimoine inestimable.
— Audrey Azoulay (@AAzoulay) April 15, 2019
– Anglican Church –
“Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic Notre Dame fire — and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ.” – Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
– Austria –
“Shocking images from Paris. An emblem, a cultural heritage of humanity and one of the most beautiful works of art in French history. Notre Dame is in flames. We hope no one is injured. Our thoughts are with Paris.” – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
Schockierende Bilder aus #Paris. Ein Wahrzeichen, Weltkulturerbe und eines der schönsten Bauwerke der französischen Geschichte #NotreDame steht in Flammen. Wir hoffen, dass kein Mensch verletzt ist. Unsere Gedanken sind in Paris. https://t.co/VJShkwLIAq
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) April 15, 2019
– Barack Obama –
“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.” – US ex-president Barack Obama
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. pic.twitter.com/SpMEvv1BzB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2019
– Michelle Obama –
“The majesty of Notre Dame — the history, artistry, and spirituality — took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that Notre Dame will soon awe us again.” – Former First Lady Michelle Obama
The majesty of Notre Dame—the history, artistry, and spirituality—took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that Notre Dame will soon awe us again. https://t.co/p1mIDMbwe1
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 15, 2019
– Belgium –
“Notre Dame de Paris on fire, a huge emotion, Victor Hugo, a part of the history of France, of Europe. My thoughts and support for our French friends.” – Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) April 15, 2019
– Britain –
“My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral.” – British Prime Minister Theresa May
My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 15, 2019
– Church of the Holy Land –
“We pray that there will be no injuries, for the fire not to be intentional and for least possible damage to the Church. We express our solidarity with the Church in France, especially while we are during the Holy Week (that precedes Easter), and to wish this Church all the best to it and its faithful.” – Statement from Church of the Holy Land
– Egypt –
“The Arab Republic of Egypt affirms that it is following, with pain and sorrow, the Notre-Dame Cathedral catching fire, especially that this monument is of important cultural and historic significance for France and as part of the world’s heritage.” – Egyptian foreign ministry
– Germany –
“These horrible images of Notre-Dame on fire are painful. Notre-Dame is a symbol of France and of our European culture. Our thoughts are with our French friends.” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert
La Chancelière Angela Merkel: C'est avec une profonde tristesse que je suis les evénements à Paris. Je suis peinée de voir ces terribles images de #NotreDame, symbole de la France et de notre culture européenne, en flammes. Nos pensées vont à nos amis français. #Paris
— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) April 15, 2019
– Greece –
“The catastrophe of Notre-Dame in Paris deeply saddens us. It is not only a national catastrophe for France but also for Europe and for world heritage. Emmanuel Macron, we are by your side.” – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Profondément triste par les nouvelles de l'incendie de Notre Dame. Il ne s’agit pas uniquement d’un désastre national pour la France, mais également d’une grave perte pour le patrimoine culturel mondial. @emmanuelMacron, nous sommes aux côtés des Français.
— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) April 15, 2019
– Italy –
“A blow to the heart for the French and for us all Europeans.” – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
— GiuseppeConte (@GiuseppeConteIT) April 15, 2019
– Japan –
“The destruction by fire of Notre Dame Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also a loss for the entire world, and we are terribly saddened”. – Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga
– Lebanon –
“Sadness envelopes the world to see Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire. An indescribable catastrophe for heritage and for humanity. Lebanon is in full solidarity with its friends, the French people.” – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
– Malta –
“Very saddened by events at Notre-Dame Cathedral. A symbol of universal heritage and culture. Paris in our thoughts.” – Maltese President George Vella
– NATO –
“Heart-breaking to see #NotreDame Cathedral on fire. Our thoughts are with all those working to save this great symbol of European culture and with the people of France.” – Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Heartbreaking to see #NotreDame cathedral on fire. Our thoughts are with all those working to save this great symbol of European culture and with the people of France.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) April 15, 2019
– Netherlands –
“Paris and France have been hit hard by a destructive fire at Notre-Dame, one of the most emblematic buildings on our continent. This devastating fire is felt throughout the whole of Europe.” – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Paris et la France durement touchés par un feu destructeur à Notre-Dame, l'un des bâtiments les plus emblématiques de notre continent. Cet incendie dévastateur se fait sentir dans toute l’Europe.
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) April 15, 2019
– Norway –
“Heart-breaking to see Notre-Dame in flames in my favourite city Paris. Hope as much as possible can be saved.” – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Heartbraking to see Notre Dame in flames in my favourite city Paris. Hope as much as possible can be saved. #notredame
— Erna Solberg (@erna_solberg) April 15, 2019
– Poland –
“In March it was Saint-Sulpice (church in Paris hit by fire), and today it is Notre-Dame. A tragedy for believers; a catastrophe for world culture and art.” – Polish President Andrzej Duda
U nas ludzie już się zgłaszają gotowi złożyć datki na odbudowę Katedry Notre Dame. Dziękuję za to, bo jestem przekonany, że odbudowa Katedry może stać się symbolem odbudowy Europy. Obbudowy Europy na jej prawdziwym, historycznym, judeo-chrześcijańskim fudamencie.
— Andrzej Duda (@AndrzejDuda) April 15, 2019
– Portugal –
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in a message to Macron lamented “a French, European and world tragedy”, which struck “a major symbol of the collective imagination”.
– Slovakia –
“I am heartbroken by the sight of Notre-Dame Cathedral burning. Slovakia stands with Paris and France tonight. – Zuzana Caputova, Slovak president-elect
I am heartbroken by the sight of Notre-Dame Cathedral burning. Slovakia stands with Paris and France tonight. 🇫🇷 🇸🇰 🇪🇺
— Zuzana Čaputová (@ZuzanaCaputova) April 15, 2019
– Spain –
“We are following with alarm the news arriving from Paris of the fire at Notre Dame, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. Sad news for our history and our universal cultural heritage.” – Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
L’incendie de Notre Dame est une catastrophe pour la France et pour l’Europe. Les flammes ravagent 850 ans d’histoire, d’architrecture, de peinture et de sculpture. Cela va être difficile à oublier. La France peut compter sur nous pour récuperer la grandeur de son patrimoine.
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) April 15, 2019
– Switzerland –
“In the name of the federal council I wish to express our deep sadness at seeing right in the centre of Paris a monument so dear to the hearts of all ravaged by flames.” – Swiss President Ueli Maurer
– Venice opera house –
“We burned twice, but twice we rose stronger from the ashes. We are with you, friends; do not be afraid.” – Venice’s Fenice Opera House, hit by fire in 1836 and 1996
– World Jewish Congress –
“Notre Dame has for centuries stood proud and tall as an inimitable icon, a symbol of the country’s great culture and history. We pray that there are no injuries or loss of life in this tragedy, and that the destruction can be restored to allow this unparalleled structure to return to its position of symbolic majesty on the Parisian skyline.” – WJC President Ronald S. Lauder
– Zidane –
“Obviously it’s always terrible to see things like this happen. The most important thing is that there not be any victims.” – French football star Zinedine Zidane at a post-match news conference