The fire that devastated cathedral Notre-Dame in Paris is “God’s punishment”, reported on Monday on April 15th two Serbian tabloids Aloand Informer, because last year Kosovo’s flag was hoisted there during the manifestation celebrating 100 years since the end of the World War I.
The flag of the “fake state of Kosovo” was hoisted at the Cathedral Notre-Dame and this was the reason why “fire has now destroyed it”, was written at the web site of Informer with the attached photo of the Cathedral on fire. “The cause of the fire is unknown so far, but whatever the cause might be, one is clear – apparently, French suffered God’s punishment”, was stated in the text which was later deleted without explanation.
The portal of the tabloid Alo reported that the hoist of Kosovo’s flag represented “spitting on the Serbian victims” of war on Kosovo and that the fire was the punishment for that, adding that the public worldwide was shocked by such French decision.
On the other hand, the very president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, considered a close person to the tabloid Informer, expressed his support to French on Twitter with worlds stating that everyone in Serbia was sad for what has happened.
The former secretary general of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) also gave comments similar to those from Informer and Alo.
“Let it burn, better would be to have had it bombed”, wrote Vasic.
After Aleksandar Vucic’s statement expressing regret and offering help to France, and numerous foreign and domestic media condemnations of Informer and Alo because of their writing on unfortunate incidence in Paris which crossed all lines of good taste and professionalism, the two Serbian media took completely reverse stances compared to initial texts.
Actually, on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, the mentioned portals displayed the following titles “Notre-Dame tolling in the honor of the Serbs’ victory over Turks! According to the folklore, the symbol of Paris celebrated in 1389 the victory of the Serbia army!” and “Bells for the Serbian army, the Cathedral Notre-dame was thundering 600 years ago in the honor of Serbia…”, followed by the famous picture of the Kosovo Maiden.
Whether the initial content was removed and the stance changed due to the condemnation of the media, public, President’s attitude or something else is less important. What remains is the scandal caused by unprofessionalism, which has not only ruined the image of the Serbian media space but of Serbia in the international community.
French Ambassador in Belgrade, Frédéric Mondoloni, said that he was profoundly affected by the titles found in certain Serbian media reporting that the fire in the Cathedral Notre-Dame was “God’s punishment” and expressed the deep contempt for those who do it.
Although the spire and much of the roof of the 850-year-old medieval structure collapsed, which is also one of the world’s most visited cultural monuments, the main structure, including the two bell towers, was saved, as well as most of the treasured artwork and religious artifacts.