MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower will be illuminated blue, white and red Wednesday night in a show of solidarity with France following the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
At sunset on April 17, Miami-Dade College will showcase the colors of the French flag.
“The Miami Dade College community is deeply saddened by this terrible and unexpected incident. Notre-Dame has a special significance as the site of many historical events and the repository of renowned works of art and invaluable religious relics, which have been studied and amply discussed in our classrooms for years. We are also moved by the resolve of the French people and their pledge to rebuild,” said MDC’s President Eduardo J. Padrón.
Notre-Dame de Paris often referred as simple Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic Cathedral built during the reign of King Louis VII in 1163 and was completed in 1345. Considered a jewel of medieval Gothic architecture, the church is among the most famous landmarks in Paris, drawing millions of visitors each year.
French government officials said Wednesday the historic building would have burned to the ground in a “chain-reaction collapse” had firefighters not moved as rapidly as they did to battle the blaze.
The firefighters acted aggressively to protect wooden supports in the twin medieval bell towers from the flames, averting a bigger catastrophe, said José Vaz de Matos, a fire expert with France’s Culture Ministry.
“If the fire reached this wooden structure, the bell tower would have been lost,” de Matos said at a news conference. “From the moment we lose the war of the bell towers, we lose the cathedral, because it’s a chain-reaction collapse.”
Monday’s fire destroyed most of the lead roof of the 950-year-old architectural treasure and caused its spire, which was added in the 19th century, to collapse.