BEIJING – When the oak-framed roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris burned to the ground in the blaze on April 15, people around the world wept over the fate of the iconic 12th-century monument.
Yet, thanks to an unprecedented display of global unity, the rebirth of this cultural colossus is now guaranteed.
The cultural administrations of China and France jointly released a declaration on Wednesday (Nov 6) in Beijing to kick off a programme of bilateral cooperation to rebuild the world-famous cathedral.
With President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron’s presence during the latter’s state visit to China on Wednesday, the declaration was signed by Mr Liu Yuzhu, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, and Mr Franck Riester, the French minister of culture, in the Great Hall of the People.
“A loss of cultural heritage means the disappearance of a period of history and culture,” Mr Liu said in a written statement. “It also teaches us a lesson about ensuring the safety of cultural heritage, and prompted us to set red lines for the future that must not be crossed.”