WIU Professor in France believes rebuilding fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral is a must

ILLINOIS -- The impact of the Notre Dame Cathedral spreads far and wide throughout the world. Families and couples are posting pictures on social media of their own trips to the monument sharing what it meant to them and voicing support to rebuild after the devastating fire on Monday, April 15.

500 firefighters battled the flames until late Monday night, April 15. The roof took a majority of the damage with two-thirds of it destroyed.

The two 69-foot towers and most of the artifacts inside, like the Crown of Thorns, were saved from the flames.

Related: Man enters burning Notre Dame cathedral to help rescue relics from blaze

Western Illinois University history professor Dr. Ed Woell is on sabbatical in France and was at the scene of the fire as the flames were being put out. He believes rebuilding the cathedral is a must.

"In front of the cathedral is a small little marker from which the distance of Paris from all other places in France are marked so this little spot is known as Paris Point Zero and the fact that it is right in front of Notre Dame kind of underscores the significance of the cathedral," said Woell.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in donations are already going towards the project. France's president, Emmanuel Macron, says it could even surpass its original splendor.

"It's a great symbol of the country, and you know it's a shame that not all the tourists will be able to see the building now that it is in great disrepair, but it will come back, and hopefully, the tourists will as well," said Woell.

Macron wants the rebuild to be done within five years, but it could take more time to accurately restore the more-than-850-year-old building. Until then, tourists will only be able to see the outside of the cathedral.

Read More: Search For ‘Father and Daughter’ in Notre Dame cathedral photo goes viral

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