‘Notre Drame’: Newspapers around the world react to one of France’s darkest days


Lebanese newspapers, featuring images of the fire that ravaged Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral on their front pages, are spread out at a newspaper stall in Beirut on April 16, 2019. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP/Getty Images)
Jennifer Hassan April 16 at 7:25 AM

LONDON — As the sun rose above the charred remains of France’s beloved Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday morning, front pages around the world reported the blaze that destroyed centuries of history and brought down one of the world’s most iconic spires.

While France mourned and President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild all that was lost to the flames, newspapers told the story of the inferno through an array of striking images and headlines.

From France to Britain, Nigeria to Lebanon, here is a look at how the story of one of France’s darkest days was told in print.

“Le coeur en cendres” (Our heart in ashes) read the front page of French Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix.

“Notre-Dame des Larmes” (Our Lady of Tears) read the front page of Le Parisien. “Notre Drame” (Our Drama) said the headline on the front of the French newspaper Libération, alongside a photo of the moment the cathedral’s spire collapsed.

The British tabloid, the Sun, led with the headline “Notre Doom,” a pun that some observers on social media deemed “disgraceful” and “offensive” in the face of such a tragedy.

Other British newspapers reflected on the historical blow to Paris and the rest of the world. “Paris weeps for its beloved lady” wrote the Daily Telegraph, using a powerful image from the blaze before firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the flames.

Also using an image of the precise moment the spire toppled, the front of the Irish Times read: “Notre Dame, symbol of Paris, destroyed.”

While the scale of the damage remains unclear, donations to assist in efforts to rebuild poured in overnight.

“Inferno devastates Notre-Dame,” read the front page of the Guardian, along with a detail on how the fire may have started. “Blaze may be linked to building work, say police.”

“Notre Dame inferno stuns,” Lebanon’s Daily Star said on its front page.

“Fire-Hell Notre-Dame,” read the front page of Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“Just before the resurrection . . . a civilization goes up in flames!” the Guardian Nigeria reported on its front page.

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