The Notre Dame Cathedral, which Newt Gingrich called "one of the great centers of Western civilization and Christianity," could be rebuilt in 10 years after a devastating blaze that lasted 13 hours Monday. according to the former speaker.
The husband of Callista, Ambassador to the Holy See, told "America's Newsroom" they were heartbroken when they saw the images but remain hopeful.
"It can be rebuilt. We have done it before," Gingrich said. "We know how to do this, and 10 years from now we should have Notre Dame right back the way it was as a great, great center of civilization."
The former House Speaker pointed to other points in history where similar devastation happened, but today those structures stand proudly today.
Gingrich praised French President Emmanuel Macron for showing "defiance" and vowing to rebuild the Gothic cathedral.
"Notre Dame will be back again," he added, "and it will be one of the great landmarks of Western Civilization."
Repairing the cathedral in the wake of the blaze — including the 800-year-old wooden beams that made up its roof — presents challenges.
The cathedral's roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century," Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, said.
He said the roof restoration work would have to use new technologies.
Meanwhile, three of France’s richest businessman - Bernard Arnault, Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father Francois Pinault – have pledged nearly $340 million to help finance repairs.