MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russia will be ready to send both specialists and materials to France to help rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral, if such assistance is needed, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
"Importantly, the president [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has said that we really have some of the world’s best specialists who have the extensive experience in restoring medieval monuments and, therefore, we will be ready to send them, if such help is needed," the Kremlin spokesman said.
As Putin’s spokesman said, the Russian leader sent a telegram to French President Emmanuel Macron earlier on Tuesday, offering the help of Russia’s best specialists in rebuilding the Notre Dame cathedral after the tragic fire.
Responding to a question about whether Moscow was ready to provide France other assistance, for example, in the form of wood for the roofing, Peskov assured the journalists: "I have no doubts that if some wood, which is absent in France, is needed for the cathedral’s roof, although I don’t think that the Russian wood was used during the construction of this cathedral’s roof, such assistance will be provided."
Notre Dame has been a landmark site in the French capital for centuries. It is on the list of world historical monuments. In August 1239, one of Christianity’s most sacred relics, Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns, was brought to the cathedral. Luckily, it survived last night’s fire that partially destroyed the cathedral where it was housed. Notre Dame is the site where the States General (or Estates General, the first French parliament) was convened and where King of Navarre Henry IV and Marguerite of Valois held their wedding.
In 1804, Napoleon was crowned emperor in the cathedral and in 1944, a solemn prayer service was held on its premises to celebrate the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation.
For all travelers, the Notre Dame cathedral whose first foundation stone was laid in 1163 under Louis VII, remains a major starting point. The cathedral’s square gives rise to all measurements of distances in France. In 2013, the cathedral marked its 850th anniversary.