Donald Trump offers condolences, assistance for France after Notre Dame fire

April 16, 2019 GMT

President Trump extended condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday for the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and offered U.S. assistance in restoring the famous 12th-century church.

“The United States stands with French citizens, the city of Paris, and the millions of visitors from around the world who have sought solace in that iconic structure,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “The cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece.”

Mr. Macron has vowed to rebuild the landmark cathedral, which was heavily damaged by an accidental fire on Monday. Some priceless artwork and relics were saved.

Mrs. Sanders noted that France is the oldest ally of the U.S., and said Americans “remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame’s bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil.”

“Those bells will sound again,” she said. “We stand with France today and offer our assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization. Vive la France!”

She said Notre Dame “will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy.”