Haiti - FLASH : The royal chapel of Milot, world heritage destroyed by fire
According to Father Alain Prophète, parish priest, the fire would have started a little before 2:00 am when residents informed him "The commune, not having a fire service, I called the local authorities to help us limit the spread of the fire."
The firefighters of the town hall of Cap-Haitien arrived on the scene two hours after being alerted said Jacques Bernadin the Mayor of Milot "They did their best to save the church from the flames..."
The firefighters were there but unfortunately they could not save the chapel for various reasons said Patrick Durandis, Director of the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (ISPAN) who said that the volume of the chapel could be rebuilt quickly if there is the will...
The imposing roof, a dome with a diameter of 30m composed of a wooden structure collapsed in the flames which also destroyed most of the elements inside "almost nothing was saved from the flames, with the exception of a few benches which have been removed by people who have come to help, and only the circular structure is still in place," informed Henry Claude Télémaque, Deputy Mayor of the town of Milot.
Let's remind that the Royal Chapel of Sans-Souci dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, was built during the reign of King Henri Christophe between 1810 and 1813 by the architect Chery Wallock.
First reactions :
Minister Claude joseph :
"Sad to hear of the fire at the Royal Church of Milot, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception [...] The fire at this historic monument is a huge loss for the country. As Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, I called the Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr Eugène Martin Nugent, and the Archbishop of Cap-Haitien, Mgr Launay Saturne, to express, on behalf of HEM Jovenel Moïse, my affliction to Catholic monks and the inhabitants of Milot for this immeasurable loss."
Pilar Álvarez, Representative of UNESCO :
"The UNESCO Office in Port-au-Prince learned with dismay of the news of the disaster that swept away the roof of the Chapel of Milot, located in the National Historic Park \ Citadelle, Sans Souci, Ramiers registered on the World Heritage list since 1982. It is a lost treasure for present and future generations. With more than 200 years of history, this royal church will remain an irreplaceable source of inspiration."
Myriam Jean Minister of Tourism :
"A treasure has gone up in smoke. The Immaculate Conception Chapel of Milot, built in the early 1810s under the reign of King Henry Christophe, one of the important pieces of the National Historic Park which is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO [...]"