Tributes have been pouring in from across the world overnight following the fire which engulfed the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, causing the famous spire to collapse.
But one particularly heartfelt message of support came from an Italian theatre that had suffered a similar fate – twice.
“We burnt, but we rose from the ashes stronger than before,” read a tweet from the Fenice Theatre in Venice, Italy. “We are at your side, friends. Fear not!”
— Teatro La Fenice (@teatrolafenice) April 15, 2019
The tweet quickly went viral, with users describing it as “particularly moving”.
The famous theatre in central Venice had to be rebuilt when it burned down in 1996 after being set ablaze by arsonists.
It was named La Fenice, or “the phoenix”, because it was originally commissioned to replace another Venetian theatre that had burned down. It suffered the same fate in 1836 and had already been rebuilt once before the most recent restoration, which was completed in 2003.
Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy, was rebuilt after a devastating fire. Photo: AFP
Another fire broke out at the theatre last year, caused by an electrical fault. It was quickly put out by firefighters who said “you learn from history.”
Italian president Sergio Mattarella was quick to send an expression of solidarity to France. His words were also widely praised by Italians on social media.
— Quirinale (@Quirinale) April 15, 2019
And the Vatican said Pope Francis was praying for the people of Paris.
“The pope is close to France, he is praying for French Catholics and for the people of Paris in face of the terrible fire which has ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral,” the head of the Vatican press office Alessandro Gisotti said.
The Notre Dame cathedral on fire on Monday April 15. Photo: AFP
Fire broke out at Notre-Dame at about 6pm on Monday, completely engulfing the roof of the 850-year-old cathedral.
The fire was finally declared under control at around 4 am on Tuesday, and on Tuesday morning experts were at the scene making the building safe and assessing the damage.
Some 400 firefighters battled to get the blaze under control and save as much of the structure as possible.
Firefighters, engineers and experts on the scene this morning have warned that there are still doubts about the safety of the structure.
The world is now waiting to find out how the fire started. Firefighters said they hope to have answers in the coming days once investigations can begin.
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