Fire Engulfs Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange

    Image copyright: Jebulon via Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • A large-scale fire engulfed one of the most famous and oldest buildings in Copenhagen, the historic 17th-century Børsen, on Tuesday, causing its iconic spire to collapse.

    • According to the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, the blaze that destroyed nearly half of the building began in the morning on the roof, where renovation works were underway. Police have yet to determine the cause.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Even though firefighters and ordinary citizens managed to salvage lots of historic objects from the fire, this incident has become a horrific cultural disaster as the building itself was an important part of Danish architectural heritage as well as a centuries-old landmark for Copenhagen. This is a sad day for the nation.

    Narrative B

    Similar to incidents at Notre Dame in Paris and Windsor Castle, among other irreplaceable monuments that previously raged in fire, what happened in Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange must be understood not as the end — but rather as an opportunity for transformation and renewal after a period of mourning. Though sad, it's a relief that no lives have been lost.

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