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“Just add three letters to Paris, and you have paradise,” said Jules Renard. Anyone who has ever been to Paris would agree, right?

The world was shocked by the massive fire outbreak in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. As being one of the most significant monuments in the world, the protagonist of the famous novel by Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris (translated as The Hunchback of Notre Dame) brought its worldwide fame.

The architecture of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the first examples of Gothic architecture in the 12th century. The statues on its façade are notorious as well as its stained-glass windows designed to let more daylight in. The cathedral is more or less 128 meters tall. The design of the towers was inspired by Romanesque architecture of the 12th century. Notre Dame is also one of the first cathedrals constructed with exterior supports that are known as “flying buttresses”. It reminds us of a gigantic bug that came to life from Kafka’s novel. We can easily sense the dark and mysterious spirit of the Middle Age. Notre Dame is a UNESCO World Heritage as well. These are some of the reasons why this unique cathedral has been such an important symbol for urban memory.

The tragic fire of Notre Dame and beyond

It took firefighters more than four hours to control the fire and save the main towers. It was heartbreaking news for many people. Meanwhile, some luxury fashion brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Gucci declared that they would like to give support for the restoration. The pledges have been raised to $950 million. Thus, many French brands were united to give life again to this jewel of history. There were many positive reactions on social media as well as the negative ones. Some people questioned why these brands come together for a historical building but not for rainforests, animals in danger of extinction, environmental problems and so on.

Although these comments need careful consideration, we cannot ignore the value of architecture and history. As an example, before what happened in Paris, the Italian brand Tod’s supported the restoration of the Colosseum with €25 million. Moreover, Fendi donated €2 million for the restoration of the Trevi Fountain, Bulgari, on the other hand, gave away €1.5 million on the Spanish Steps in Rome. Not to mention Salvatore Ferragamo’s support of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. These monuments keep on inspiring many people including art students, artists, academics, children and show us the traces of former genius artists.

Brands take responsibility for Notre Dame

We are living in an era where the brands take solution-oriented actions for a better world. For the last few years, many brands preferred to invest in projects about social responsibility, culture, travel, and history more than advertisements. Our world benefits from this new vision of brands willing to become a party to solve the problems.

We hope to see more examples of this kind of actions by brands to cure the wounds of our planet in every aspect. We can shape a better future with empathy, intelligence, and trust.

Who knows, maybe the current news helped Quasimodo to ease his mourning.