It's a sad time in France and around the world today. The Notre Dame Cathedral was a treasure for the entire planet, not just the French, not just Catholics. This architectural masterpiece was a symbol of beauty and of man's achievement. The treasures it held within it were priceless.
It was not always considered so. Once, modernists wanted to raze the cathedral; it was old and smelly. In response Victor Hugo wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame a work the not only told a great romantic story but also pointed out the beauty and the history of the building. Following the publication of the book resistance to Notre Dame Cathedral vanished and it began once again to be accepted as the treasure it was.
The story has been filmed many times. Here's the 1923 version with Lon Chaney, Sr.