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RIBA reaction to the tragic fire at the Notre Dame cathedral

17 April 2019

The fire at one of France’s most iconic buildings has shocked people across the globe. Commenting on the damage to the 850-year-old Gothic building, RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said:

"The tragic fire at Notre Dame and the damage done to the roof and spire is a blow to the heritage of French Gothic architecture. Amongst the very finest examples of rib vault and flying buttress churches, and the home of Roman Catholicism in France, the tragedy is of immeasurable significance worldwide. The building was already threatened by pollution and consequent deterioration of the intricate stonework. There has rightly been a global response to its restoration.

Too many of the world's heritage assets have been damaged or destroyed by neglect, carelessness or conflict in recent years. At RIBA we stand ready to play whatever part we can in restoring this great pinnacle of achievement by medieval stonemasons to its rightful place in the pantheon of the great religious structures. Our heart goes out to the people of France, and to lovers of our shared cultural heritage wherever they are.”

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