WASHINGTON, April 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday offered his condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron for the damage caused by a devastating fire at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
"The Cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece," the White House said in a statement.
"We stand with France today and offer our assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization," the statement added.
Speaking at a roundtable event in the U.S. state of Minnesota on Monday, Trump said the fire was a terrible sight to behold, touting Notre Dame Cathedral as "greater than almost any museum in the world."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also expressed his sorrow on Monday. "My sincere condolences to the people of France, to Catholics, and to those around the world who have long admired its beauty and history," he tweeted.
On Monday night, a fire broke out in the famed cathedral. Online footage showed thick smoke billowing from the top of the cathedral and huge flames between its two bell towers engulfing the spire and the entire roof which both collapsed later.
In a brief televised speech on Tuesday, Macron told the nation "we will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years."
The blaze was thought to be linked to renovation works being carried out at the medieval cathedral, and an investigation has been launched by Paris prosecutor office to determine the cause.