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What you need to know:

  • Social media users mourn Notre-Dame Cathedral fire

Dubai: Social media users were left “devastated” after the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire on Monday, destroying the spire of the historic edifice and other parts of the building.

People from all around the world sent their condolences to Parisians and shared personal pictures of their visits to the cathedral, online. #Notredame, #Cathedral and #NodreDamedeParis were the top worldwide trends on Twitter soon after the news broke.

On Twitter, user @social_mediawiz shared a picture of the burning spire, writing: “This is terrible to watch ... absolutely devastating #NotreDameCathedral #Cathédrale #Paris”

Tweep @BelleSmid posted a video of the burning building with the caption: “Oh my God I’m absolutely heartbroken. The #NotreDame is on fire! 850 years of history just gone …”

And @MPearce posted: “Time to remember just how beautiful this building was and - fingers crossed - it can be rebuilt #remembering #notredame ...”

User @tiffanylilo88 had never visited Paris but posted that she felt a “personal connection” to the city and to Notre Dame. She tweeted: “… I have always loved the cathedral and its history as well as the city it’s in and France as a nation. My #prayers and #thoughts go to everyone who holds it most dear.”

Iconic

Of the pictures and posts shared, one picture of a man playing outside the cathedral with a little girl went viral. It was posted by Twitter user @brookeawindsor with the caption: “I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire. I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had. Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this.”

The post garnered more than 122,000 likes and 61,000 comments in just nine hours. Many tweeps found the photograph “hopeful” and wanted to find the duo.

User @michellebhasin commented on the picture and said: “This is going to be THAT photo.”

And user @txbruin91 echoed the sentiments of many when he said: “What a gorgeous picture, this is the Notre Dame that I will always remember.”

Later, @brookeawindsor clarified: “I do not know for sure if it was a dad and daughter, it’s simply the dynamic I observed from them while debating on interrupting this moment. It may be an uncle, brother, friend, who knows until we find them …”

The search by social media users was still on hours after the tweet went viral.

Many artists on social media also created tributes for the occasion. Illustrator Amandeep Singh, known as @inkquissitive, posted a piece on Instagram incorporating Disney’s version of Quasimodo, a fictional character and main protagonist of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, holding on to a burnt part of the iconic building.

Illustrator Kera Till’s tribute-illustration showing a sketch of Notre-Dame with a pink heart in the middle of the structure was one of the popular images shared on Instagram. She captioned it: “The heart in ashes #notredame.”