In light of the horrible news coming from the Notre Dame fire in Paris on April 15, British MPs are warning the public about the destruction that could come to the UK Parliament next. According to The Guardian, the building has experienced 40 fires between 2008 and 2012.
Their reasoning is that the deterioration of the Palace of Westminster’s interior could be the cause of a catastrophic fire like the one Notre Dame recently experienced. In an interview with The Guardian, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn shared a few words of warning: “You see beautiful buildings like that and think of the beautiful buildings we’ve got in this country,” he said. “If any of those were destroyed in fire how would we feel about it? The state of the building is very poor in Westminster and a fire risk is obviously huge with a building that has so much wood within it.”
The main areas affected with Notre Dame were The Forest, an area at the top of the cathedral housing a city of wooden beams where the fire first started; two-thirds of the entire roof; and the iconic spire of the building, which tumbled to the ground during the fire. Given that the Palace of Westminster also houses ancient wood, it certainly has its fair share of fire risks. For this reason, there is a fire patrol constantly monitoring the palace.
MPs have already voted on and passed approval on necessary reconstruction work to begin sometime in the mid-2020s, meaning they will need to move out of the building while the renovations take place. For now, all we can do is hope further precautions are taken to preserve our world’s iconic architecture.