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Armenian Community Has Been Deeply Moved by the Fire of Notre Dame Cathedral: Daniele Cazarian - French Deputy of Armenian Origin (EXCLUSIVE)

A massive fire engulfed the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, devastating large parts of the 850-year-old church. French President Emmanuel Macron, in an address to the nation, promised Parisians that they will "rebuild this cathedral within five years''.

 "Armedia'' IAA presents an exclusive interview with deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of France of Armenian origin, Daniele Cazarian. 


-Mrs Cazarian, what does Notre Dame symbolize for you and for the French people? Is it a historical and cultural gem or a spiritual center?

-The Notre Dame Cathedral has two different meanings for the people of France, that’s why we are very emotional about it.

First and foremost, it is the epicenter of French and European Christianity, with both its spiritual and artistic dimension. 

The Cathedral is also an element of our national cultural legacy. Built more than 800 years ago, Notre Dame is as old as our Nation. This building is a national pride and a reminder of French greatness. This is why we celebrate and mourn there for any important event of the country, wars, epidemic etc. There is an anecdote: in 1996, when former President François Mitterrand, who was a secular and socialist president of a secular state, died, a memorial service was held in Notre Dame!

The picture wouldn’t be full without the figure of Victor Hugo whose "Notre Dame de Paris" made this cathedral a romantic and popular place worldwide.


-During the televised speech to the nation French President Emmanuel Macron said that they intend to rebuild the Cathedral within five years. Is Macron's five year goal to restore the Cathedral realistic?

- I can’t really say whether it is realistic or not, as I’m not an expert. The President set this timeframe in order to mobilize the administration, architects, engineers and artists. This is a call for action and ambition. This is the role of the head of State in this difficult time.


-Does the Armenian community plan to assist France to reconstruct the Cathedral?

-I genuinely believe that the Armenian community of France will mobilize and donate to help rebuild the Cathedral. Like all of their fellow citizens, they have been deeply moved by the fire.


-As we know, Notre Dame Cathedral was set to offer a liturgy on April 22 to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. After this incident, however, will the liturgy be offered?

To this date, I cannot tell you if the archbishop has planned to offer a liturgy somewhere else in our capital. A lot of religious and republican events are planned this year to commemorate the Genocide, which is satisfying. The Armenian community and anyone who wants to pay their respects to the victims will find a decent place to do so.

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