Hungary feels sympathy for France over the fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, has said in a statement.
“We sympathise with our French friends when we watch the painful scenes from Paris. Notre Dame is an important Christian and cultural symbol to all of us; it shows us who we are. We wish the firefighters strength and perseverance”, the Minister said in his statement.
The fire in the gothic cathedral, one of the French capital’s emblematic buildings, began in the early hours of Monday evening, and the flames ravaged the upper part of the world-famous church. It’s spire, which was under renovation, collapsed and the cathedral’s whole roof structure was destroyed.
At a press conference on a different subject, Szijjártó said later on Tuesday that Hungary was always ready to aid Christians in need, and so it was “naturally” ready to provide aid to the reconstruction, should that be needed. Besides financial aid,
Hungary offers experts to coordinate parts of the reconstruction project, he said.
The municipality Szeged has offered 10,000 euros to aid the reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris which was heavily damaged by fire on Tuesday.
The local authority of the city in southern Hungary said in a statement today that Paris had come to Szeged’s aid after one of its largest floods 140 years ago, and now Szeged is repaying the French capital in the spirit of European solidarity.
Szeged is also launching a donation drive to raise funds for reconstructing the damaged parts of the cathedral, it added.
The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) said in a statement that it is also collecting donations to aid the reconstruction. Mazsihisz head Andras Heisler, the vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement that he had proposed to the WJC’s president, Ronald S. Lauder, calling on Jews worldwide to contribute to the cause.
Heisler expressed his sympathies to the Catholic community and the French nation.
“There is no person of faith in the world whose heart is not wrenched by such destruction,” the statement said.
The municipality of Székesfehérvár has also offered 10,000 euros towards the cost of reconstructing the damaged parts of the building, the local mayor, András Cser-Palkovics, said today. He added that he urged all town mayors to make similar donations if they had the means to do so.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Julien De Rosa
Source: Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI