A tourist’s quest to find the man and child she photographed moments before Notre Dame burned

A tourist’s quest to find the man and child she photographed moments before Notre Dame burned

A tourist’s quest to find the man and child she photographed moments before Notre Dame burned


Flames engulf the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. (Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Deanna Paul

Reporter covering national and breaking news

Just before Notre Dame Cathedral was ablaze, the streets of Paris were filled with sightseers. Among them was Brooke Windsor, an American tourist with an eye for photography.

The 23-year-old from Michigan captured a picture-perfect moment between a man and a child, who she presumed were a father and his daughter. The scene showed the man and the toddler spinning in circles, wearing smiles, against the backdrop of the glorious cathedral and its no-longer-existing spire.

“I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had,” Windsor tweeted Monday night alongside the heartwarming image. “Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this.”

The post has since gone viral, and Windsor has found herself leading an international Internet search to find the duo.

[Notre Dame fire: Crews assess the damage and an investigation begins]

I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire. I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had. Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/pEu33ubqCK

— Brooke Windsor (@brookeawindsor) April 16, 2019

Windsor took the photo Monday at 5:57 p.m. local time. She was standing with friends outside the Louvre an hour later and saw plumes of smoke rising from the historic cathedral. Soon after, the structure was engulfed in flames.

“We watched in shock and heartbreak with the rest of Paris,” Windsor told BBC. As of Tuesday morning, she had not found the father-daughter duo, though she remains “hopeful” that the call to action on Twitter will succeed.

By Tuesday morning, the post had been shared and liked hundreds of thousands of times.

“If it were me, I’d want the memory. Hoping he feels the same way,” Windsor said.

Read more:

Notre Dame fire: Macron promises to rebuild, but Paris monument suffers ‘colossal damage’

The fall of Notre Dame is a body blow to Paris and all it represents

The story behind the towering Notre Dame spire and the 30-year-old architect commissioned to build it

Notre Dame Cathedral will rise again. But it will never be the same.

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