There's no doubt in our mind that the fire which swept through Paris’ famed historic cathedral, Notre Dame on April 16 was undoubtedly devastating. Sure, it's not a tragedy where lives are lost or destroyed, but to anyone who watched the video of the cathedral's spire falling, there's definitely a sense of loss over a piece of iconic history.
There's a silver lining, of course. If you consider the fact that this event signified that Notre Dame was a fire hazard, then maybe it really was time for it to be rebuilt. Notre Dame was already in the midst of renovation, which means a lot of artifacts such as the historic statues are safe as they were already removed. The Holy Crown of Thorns, and a sacred tunic worn by 13th-century French King Louis- two irreplaceable artifacts - had been rescued as well.
It's also important to note that the cathedral was half destroyed in the early 19th century, and it was through Victor Hugo's novel "Notre-Dame de Paris" that gained it enough attention to be restored. The spire that fell during the fire was built during that time, and was a taller and more ornate reconstruction of the original one. Which means Notre Dame had been destroyed before, and was rebuilt. Therefore, it can be rebuilt again.
French President Emmanual Macron is definitely looking into it, and has gained support from many, including Japan. But the best help may come from a well known video game; Assassins Creed.
Assassins Creed is well known in its world recreation of actual locations. Assassin's Creed Unity was set in Paris, and it took the artist of the game, Caroline Miousse, two years to perfect Notre Dame's appearance, right down to ensuring that each brick is where it should be.
Miousse also worked with a historian to research and build every section of the building, faithfully rebuilding the cathedral in a 1:1 ration. They even helped her figure out the exact paintings that were hanging on the walls. With so much details poured into the game, it's hard not to see the benefits of video games in how they can also preserve history, even in its own way.
Of course, the game is not the only map that can be used to rebuild Notre Dame. A Ph.D. student named Hannah Groch-Begley shared the work of art historian Andrew Tallon on Twitter. Tallon used laser scanners to create an immaculately accurate model of the cathedral. Though Tallon had passed away late last year, his work may also be integral in the rebuilding of Notre Dame.
While we may have lost a piece of history today, it's good to know that not all is lost and that rebuilding is possible as long as everyone works together. Let’s not mourn over this and have hope that a stronger Notre Dame will be built that many of us can admire and treasure for many more years to come!