TOLEDO (WTOL) - As calls to re-build Notre Dame are taking over the shock Parisians felt as they saw the cathedral burning today, a curator with the Toledo Museum of Art explained why this building is so significant to so many people.

Senior Curator Lawrence Nichols said part of the reason the landmark is so popular is people don’t have to be religious to admire it’s beauty or its significance.

“It’s still a world event that’s taken place today and I think a world event will restore it to its completeness in the future,” Nichols said.

He is still processing watching the Notre Dame Cathedral burn. Nichols has been inspired by it on multiple visits and is familiar with its significance in both the art and religious worlds.

"It's a phenomenally important structure and when something like this happens, you reach out and you hug and you pray and you're just grateful that human life hasn't gone down with the spire," Nichols said.

He said his nephew was at church service in the cathedral just a week ago. Additionally, he remembered viewing objects inside the cathedral with religious, historic and artistic significance just two years ago with his daughter.

"The chapels along the nave are replete with 17th century altar pieces that would hang in the Louvre if they didn't hang in Notre Dame," Nichols said.

Nichols is heartened to know that there are reports of firefighters making efforts to save these priceless artifacts, but even as someone who knows their value, he said one thing will always be more important.

“None of the art in that museum or none of the architecture in that cathedral represents is as important as one human life,” Nichols said.