Hollywood actress Glenn Close has said she feels “grief in her stomach” watching Notre Dame go up in flames.
The French cathedral has been ravaged by a blaze which destroyed the spire and other areas of the historic Parisian landmark.
In a series of Instagram posts, Oscar-nominee Close paid tribute to Notre Dame, sharing a memory of visiting it in 2002 while filming in France.
She wrote alongside a photograph of the cathedral: “I feel grief in my stomach, watching Notre Dame burn. Until this moment, I didn’t realize how much it has meant to me, knowing it was there, seemingly indestructible.
“My heart goes out to all French men and women, to all Parisians everywhere, who are shocked and grieved by such a terrible blow to the heart of their city…their country.
“In an unstable world, great and venerable monuments are vital to our collective wellbeing. We need the comfort and sublimity of mankind’s highest architectural expressions — no matter what religion. May Notre Dame find healing, over the coming years. May we all experience that healing together.”
In another short video post, she told fans she was “sitting here on a cold and windy night and I’m thinking about Notre Dame, the upsetting pics of it burning”.
The Fatal Attraction star continued: “I found something that I wrote 17 years ago about that incredible building at a time when it brought me great comfort and I think that’s why personally I feel so attached to that place.
“I was filming in France, May 2002, and it was when all the headlines said we were going to fall into nuclear war because of the confrontation between India and Pakistan so I went to Notre Dame and I wrote this afterwards and I just wanted to share it with you”.
Minutes later she shared a short video explaining she’d not recorded the full message, joking: “Well that just goes to show you how ignorant I am about Instagram”, and promised fans she would share what she had written at a later stage.
Poldark actress Eleanor Tomlinson wrote on Instagram: “My thoughts are with France and all the brave firefighters working to save this sacred place. Notre Dame, I love you. Be strong Paris”.
British actress Kristin Scott Thomas shared a photograph of smoke billowing out from behind a building and wrote: “When I didn’t know that we were losing one of our most precious buildings #horror”.
American actress Anne Hathaway said that seeing Notre Dame burn “brings tears to my eyes”.
She shared a photograph of the cathedral’s most famous stained glass window, writing: “I know this is an inspired representation of an even greater divinity. I know this blessed place is a human-made interpretation of what is mysterious, unknowable, and undefinable and while seeing her burn brings tears to my eyes, I know even flames cannot diminish her sacredness. Still, not her. Please. Not her. #notredame #ourlady”.
Salma Hayek added: “As many others I’m in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre-Dame turn into smoke. I love you Paris.”
– Press Association
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