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July 21, 2019
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International Romani Union expresses solidarity and sorrow over the fire at Notre Dame cathedral

18.4.2019 9:56
The fire at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France on 15 April 2019. (PHOTO: Castellbo, www.commons.wikimedia.org)
The fire at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France on 15 April 2019. (PHOTO: Castellbo, www.commons.wikimedia.org)

The vice-president of the International Romani Union, Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia, has sent an open letter to the Mayor of Paris expressing sorrow over the blaze that devastated the important heritage site of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France on Monday evening and recalling the fact that the cathedral is also associated with the history of Romani people in Europe. "The cathedral, which represents a millenium of European culture, is also a symbol for the global Roma community," reads the letter, sent from Barcelona.

"The history of Notre Dame provides one of the most reliable proofs of how long Romani people have been present in France. Our culture is based above all on the oral tradition, and that has significantly hampered attempts to reconstruct our history," the letter notes.

"For that reason, our people are grateful to the author of the first written mention of the presence of Romani families in the basilica of Saint-Denis and in the environs of the cathedral of Notre Dame in 1427, namely, Nicolas Versoris and his Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris sous François 1er (Journal of a Bourgeois from Paris during the reign of Francis I)," the letter reads. "In the name of the president of the International Romani Union, Normunds Rudevics, and the Romani people who are part of our organization, we express our strongest possible solidarity."

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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France, History, open letter, Paris



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