Bradley Assistant Professor Response To Notre Dame Fire

(Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP)

After a devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a local professor could not believe that it happened.

Bradley University assistant professor in French and Arabic, Priscilla Charrat Nelson, lived in France until she was 24-years-old, and says the fire was very shocking.

“It was very unexpected,” Nelson said. “It rarely happens and the visual was extremely striking”.

The cathedral is not only a part of every day life for those in Paris, but is also a popular tourist attraction.

Due to its popularity, Nelson believes the burning of the cathedral does not just affect those who live in the city.

“It is significant not just to Parisians, and to French people who learned about the monument in their history. It is a sight a lot of tourists will go,” Nelson said. “A lot of people who are not French and who are not Catholic or who have never been to Paris care a lot about this site”.

According to Nelson, the spire that had collapsed had been under construction for a month, so many pieces of art and statues had been removed for renovation purposes.

During the fire Monday, 400 firefighters came to action, and Nelson says the firefighters in Paris are professionals, not volunteer.

“They are really highly trained and I think their response is really remarkable,” Nelson said.

With the French President wanting the cathedral to be rebuilt in five years, Nelson says the funds raised, along with insurance will help.

“It has a lot of exposure and is extremely well known, a lot of people care throughout the world,” Nelson said.

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