University of Kentucky panel discusses Notre Dame Cathedral fire

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been one week since a fire ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Thousands of miles away University of Kentucky professor Jeremy Popkin is bringing historians together to talk about the influence of the cathedral.

"It represents remarkable achievement in art, culture, spirituality, and it has meaning to Americans," Popkin said. "So many Americans dream of going to Paris and to dream of going to Paris is to dream of going to Notre Dame Cathedral."

For some UK students, the fire hits home. Marion Morice and Come Touchard are from France and are studying abroad. They never expected to say goodbye to the landmark when they came to the United States.

"I saw this cathedral every day for like ten years and now I won't be able to see it like before," said Touchard. "It will be hard to see this beautiful cathedral and monument that is in the middle of France, totally destroyed and burned."

French authorities are focused on rebuilding. They hope to complete the construction in five years.

Experts on the discussion panel at UK believe it will take much longer.

"Sadly, I don't know if I will live long enough to stand inside Notre Dame and see the sunlight come through the beautiful stained-glass windows again," Popkin said.

People around the world have pledged more than a billion dollars to rebuild the cathedral.

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