At the time of writing, the flames still lick the roofs of the cathedral of Notre-Dame. But they are said to be under control. The monument survives. Its iconic spire fell, and part of the roof was lost; but it survives.

I am optimistic about its recovery. People forget that we live in a world of technological wonders. There are thousands of satellite images, hundreds of thousands of high-resolution photographs, and a myriad of three-dimensional replicas that are faithful to the original building, down to the smallest detail.

What took more than a century to build, we now have the technology to recover in a few years. We have but to find the will – the human spirit, and the financial commitment. Today, we came close to losing one of the most beautiful buildings from our cultural heritage. But we have everything we need to rebuild. We can successfully replicate the magic.

The question that bothers me the most: if we value such buildings so dearly, why did we stop building them?

Photography by Madhurantakam – CC BY-SA 3.0