The Fire of Notre Dame: A Tragedy Reminds Us of the Importance of Preserving Cultural Heritage

On Monday the world watched as Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the most internationally famous cathedrals and cultural landmarks, tragically erupted in flames most likely caused by an accident related to on-going restoration. Attention and concern was immediately directed towards the fate of the numerous irreplaceable relics, statuary, paintings, stained glass, and other objects housed in the cathedral. Some of the holdings of Notre Dame had already been rehoused prior to the beginning of the restoration process, such as the Holy Crown of Thorns and the thirteenth-century tunic of Louis IX, the only French king to be canonized. The sixteen copper statues adorning the center of the roof had also