FRANCE (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Donations from French companies and wealthy families have helped to rebuild the cathedral of Notre Dame, which was destroyed by fire late Monday, to 600 million euros ($ 680 million), according to an AFP count on Tuesday of donations announced so far.
President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the historic edifice after the cathedral tower and roof collapsed on Monday night in the fire, which is believed to have been caused by the restoration work in the cathedral.
The latest major donations came from L’Oréal, the giant cosmetics company, and its Betancourt family, which donated 200 million euros.
The French-based luxury group Kering, which includes brands including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, made the first donation late Monday of 100 million euros ($ 113 million).
This was followed by a pledge to donate 200 million euros from its competitor, VHM and the family of its founder, Bernard Arnault.
The CEO of French oil giant Total also announced a 100 million euro donation.
Other donors include investor Marc Ladier Lacharier, who has pledged 10 million euros, and Martin & Olivier Bogue Properties.
Donations have also flowed from anonymous donors and organizations, including the French Heritage Foundation, which said it had received donations of 1.6 million euros. Ziegde has promised 10,000 euros for reconstruction efforts. The city received donations from Paris after the devastating floods in 1879.
– Provide wooden columns –
Paris Mayor Ann Hidalgo said on Tuesday that the city would allocate 50 million euros and suggested holding an international donor conference in the coming weeks to coordinate pledges to rebuild the cathedral.
The rebuilding of the cathedral is expected to require experts and rare materials. The cathedral receives about 13 million visitors each year, with an average of more than 35,000 people a day.
The president of the French wood company told AFP he would try to collect 1300 columns of oak that would be necessary in his belief to rebuild the collapsed roof supports, known as the “forest.”
But it is not easy to find enough large pieces of wood because there are no hardwood stocks in France that are enough for this big project, said Charles Sylvain of the Charleva group.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said it was “standing by France” in rebuilding the monument, which was declared a global heritage in 1991.
The German and Italian governments also offered reconstruction assistance, while Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to send to France “the best Russian specialists with extensive experience in restoring the monuments of the world heritage, including the works of medieval architecture.”
– Work takes years –
The reconstruction process is likely to cost hundreds of millions of euros and will last for many years and even decades, although experts have expressed satisfaction that the damage could have been greater.
The ceiling was undergoing a renovation of 11 million euros ($ 12.4 million), financed by the French government, to repair damage caused by time, pollution and weather.
The restoration process also depends on individual donations. Over the past few years, a charity has been set up in the United States to allow American voters to deduct tax revenues from the cathedral.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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