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Notre Dame fire: 'A big gaping wound in the heart of Paris,' says MEP

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Notre Dame fire: 'A big gaping wound in the heart of Paris,' says MEP
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The shock of Notre Dame ablaze has led to an outpouring of emotion for the historic Parisian landmark.

MEPs gathered in Strasbourg paid homage to the shared heritage of Europe.

The emotion of seeing the cathedral on fire and the shared history and culture of the monument incited heartfelt reactions from European MEPs, together grieving its damage.

"Well, it's of course very sad," said Sophie in 't Veld, a Dutch MEP. "There is a big gaping wound in the heart of Paris and, of course, this is very much part of the cultural heritage of the whole of Europe.

"So I think everyone feels very affected by this and I'm very glad that President Macron has said immediately they will start rebuilding and repairing. In a way, this is also part of the history of Europe because we have buildings with a very long history and sometimes they are destroyed and we rebuild them.

"That becomes part of the history as well."

Pervanche Berès, French MEP, said: "Notre Dame is a monument, a monument is something which in reality links us all.

"I am not a believer, but I was completely overcome with emotion because Notre Dame is a symbol of what we call European civilisation, it goes beyond the city limits of Paris, beyond the French borders. It's part of our legacy, common heritage. It is this heritage which makes us European."

European Council president Donald Tusk reiterated the hopeful message that the cathedral can be restored to its former glory and called on all EU countries to contribute.