VILNIUS – Lithuania is ready to contribute to the restoration of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral which was ravaged by a fire earlier this week and will consider ways on how to do that, its leaders say.
In a sound recording issued on Wednesday, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said Lithuania "is full of determination to restore the cathedral of great value to the whole world."
"It's a temple of our hearts and Lithuania and our people are ready to help restore it and contribute," the president said in the recording issued by her press service.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says the devastating fire "is not only a tragedy for France but also for Lithuania and the whole of Europe."
"We feel the moral duty and we are ready to contribute to the restoration of the Paris cathedral with all possible means," Skvernelis told BNS Lithuania.
Government Chancellor Algirdas Stoncaitis told BNS Lithuania on Wednesday that the Cabinet would discuss the matter during today's sitting.
"Our position will be expressed, and the prime minister will invite to submit specific proposals on ways to do that. We can definitely confirm that this issue has been discussed, and we had the prime minister's personal position, and now we'll have the government's position," he said.
According to Stoncaitis, specific assistance has not been identified yet and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will probably be asked to do that. Foreign minister Linas Linkevicius says France's needs have to be analyzed first to find out what kind of assistance they need, and also Lithuania needs to evaluate its capabilities.
"There are all sorts of possibilities, including financial assistance, even though symbolic, perhaps experts and specialists could be sent. We have high-level restoration specialists," the minister told journalists at the parliament today. "… we need to hear the needs of the French government, find out what our capabilities are. I believe the prime minister will make necessary orders."
A huge fire engulfed the Paris cathedral, one of the most significant pieces of early Gothic architecture, visited by around 13 million people every year, on Monday afternoon.