People honor Notre Dame singing ‘Ave Maria’ while kneeling in Paris

Parisians seen in touching video honoring the still burning remains of Notre Dame Cathedral singing ‘Ave Maria’ while kneeling on the street

  • Footage of Parisians kneeling and singing the hymn ‘Ave Maria’ as the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral continues to burn in the twilight went viral Monday
  • By early Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed over eight million times
  • The blaze that began early in the evening took down the spire and collapsed the roof of the landmark, but fire chiefs said the structure of the cathedral was saved
  •  French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that Notre Dame would be rebuilt

Footage of Parisians softly singing and kneeling outside of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in tribute spread throughout the Internet on Monday.

The Twitter post by Ignacio Gil of the Spanish outlet El Mundo shows a moment in the early evening hours as crowds of spectators sing the classical hymn ‘Ave Maria.’

As the camera moves over the crowd, it points at the cathedral still glowing with flame as the crowd continues to sing. 

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Parisians in a video posted to Twitter can be seen kneeling solemnly while singing ‘Ave Maria’ in the evening hours as the Notre Dame Cathedral was ablaze

By early Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed almost nine million times. 

Other angles of the impromptu chorus honoring the engulfed historic monument have also been posted to Facebook and Twitter as well. 

Many were quietly singing, including Stephane Seigneurie, 52, who said he has lived in Paris for 25 years.

‘I come often, and go in even where there’s no mass because it’s an extraordinary place, entwined in the history of France,’ he said. ‘Politically, intellectually and spiritually, it’s a symbol of France.’ 

A spokesperson for the cathedral said the blaze was first reported at 5.50pm (GMT) and the building was evacuated soon after. 

Police said no deaths have been reported, but authorities later confirmed that one fireman had been ‘seriously injured’ in the attempt to save Notre Dame.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame with help from the international community just hours after the roof of the 850-year-old building collapsed. 

Macron told the world’s assembled press that a national fundraising campaign to restore the historic building would be launched immediately.

He credited the ‘courage’ and ‘great professionalism’ of firefighters with sparing Notre Dame’s facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed. 

Late on Monday evening fire chiefs confirmed that the structure of the cathedral has been saved.

An official in the French interior ministry said earlier in the evening that the prospect of saving the building ‘was not certain’ after the spire and part of the roof collapsed. 

It wasn’t until early on Tuesday morning that the fire was declared to be ‘under control and partially extinguished’.


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