Julien de Rosa / EPA / TASS

Russian condolences poured in after a fire tore through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris late on Monday, but some commentators in the country said the inferno symbolized the decline of Europe.

Firefighters doused the smoldering ruins of the eight-centuries-old Gothic cathedral with water on Tuesday as investigators tried to establish what started the fire, Reuters reported. The blaze consumed the roof and caused the cathedral’s spire to collapse before firefighters brought the flames under control in eight hours, saving its bell towers and outer walls.


Muscovites brought flowers to the French Embassy as a show of support in the wake of the fire. The first red carnations appeared outside the embassy as early as Monday evening, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. At Russia’s largest Catholic church, worshippers in Moscow held a service in honor of the badly damaged cathedral.

In a telegram to French President Emmanuel Macron, President Vladimir Putin offered to send Russian experts to help restore the 12th-century cathedral.

The Culture Ministry said it plans to call on the Russian public to raise funds to help restore Notre Dame, Interfax reported on Tuesday. read more here: