The Catholic diocese of Paris announced Monday that it was seeking up to six million euros to restore and modernize the interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was almost destroyed by a gigantic fire two years ago.
The diocese has launched a fundraiser seeking five to six million euros ($ 6.1 to 7.3 million) to complete the work.
President Emmanuel Macron has promised to complete the restoration of the monument by 2024, and more than 800 million euros have already been received or pledged from private donors and companies for the careful reconstruction of the 13th century Gothic masterpiece. century.
As the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed on the evening of April 15, 2019, the efforts of firefighters allowed the medieval building to survive the night.
But a law passed shortly after the fire stipulated that funds raised through public subscription only covered structural restoration and conservation of the historic monument, which technically belongs to the French state.
The Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit said in a statement that the objective was “to bring the cathedral into the twenty-first century, while ensuring the preservation of its identity in the spirit of the Christian tradition”.
The funds would be used to update the tour layout for the six million visitors each year as well as new furniture and lighting and sound systems.
Several artists have already announced that they will donate their time and expertise for new works of art, and sponsors are sought through the Notre-Dame Foundation as well as the American association Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris.
After several months of work focused on consolidating the structure of the cathedral, the real restoration work should begin at the end of 2021.
Notre-Dame will reopen for worship in April 2024, in time for the Summer Olympics in Paris.
But restoration work will continue beyond that date, according to Jean-Louis Georgelin, the former general handpicked by Macron to lead the project.
© 2021 AFP