It is impossible to imagine Paris without such incredible architectural gems as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and of course, the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Unfortunately, the latter has recently been damaged in a fire on April 15.
Today, numerous private financial donors and crowdfunding campaigns, including those from the United States, have joined France’s wealthiest families in transferring significant sums for the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Thus, Henry Kravis, billionaire and former member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Museum of Modern Art, and his wife Marie-Josée Kravis, who holds the post of the President of MOMA, donated $10 million for the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. One of the most famous art dealers, Larry Gagosian, announced on Tuesday that he would hold a charity exhibition in his Paris art gallery.
Several public campaigns were launched within two days after the fire. The French organization “Alliance Française” in New York announced the establishment of the Notre-Dame Restoration Fund to collect tax-deductible donations from American members and third-party benefactors.
Michel Picaud, president of the American charitable foundation “The Friends of Notre-Dame,” says that the financial donors became interested in cathedral’s fate too late. His organization led a campaign to collect €20 million for the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which it desperately needed even before the fire. “It’s very, very frustrating. I think that if the restoration had been completed by this time, it would have minimized the risk of fire, but since we do not yet know what exactly caused this disaster, it is too early to say anything with certainty,” Picaud added.
Meanwhile, the French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced an international fundraising campaign to rebuild Notre Dame de Paris. The campaign has already attracted attention of such renowned architects and creators of unique sculptural pieces of artwork as Wim Delvoye and Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
The 93-meter spire set in the 1860s under the supervision of an architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc who also made drastic, controversial modifications to the building, fell off during the fire. The works of this eminent French architect still inspire the creators of contemporary architectural art.
The statues of the 12 apostles are intact since they had been removed from the spire before the fire broke out. The original cathedral spire of the XIII century, which eventually lost its stability, was dismantled in the XVIII century.
Earlier, the current President of France Emmanuel Macron promised that the Notre-Dame Cathedral would be restored in five years. However, the specialists of restoration services warn that the reconstruction may require much more time.
To date, fundraising campaigns for the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral already brought over €1 billion in total.