Readers respond to the plans to rebuild the French cathedral

Andrew Anderson (Letters, 18 April) is quite right to point out that nobody died in the conflagration at Notre Dame. Compared with the disaster at Grenfell Tower, the spectacle of billionaires falling over themselves to donate their pocket money to the restoration fund, not to mention the deafening silence from the Vatican, can seem obscene.

However, Notre Dame, like all beautiful and ancient buildings, is a tangible connection with past generations, a kind of living European history, to millions of people of all faiths and none. When I sing in a concert in our ancient cathedral or in any of the city’s medieval churches, I have a strong sense that the stones are soaked with the music and voices of our ancestors. That life-affirming experience is surely worth more than the dismissive phrase “only a building”.
Dr Brigid Purcell

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