On Monday, April 15, 2019, a fire broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The blaze was watched by millions of people from all corners of the globe. While the main structure of the building was somewhat spared, there was a great amount of damage done to the roof — and within — which will need to be fixed. A number of donations have already come in over the past few days, and the amount of money raised is reportedly nearing $1 billion.
Early on Wednesday, The Walt Disney Company website announced that they were pledging $5 million to help rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral. Disney CEO Robert Iger believes this is necessary for the millions of people around the world who see the landmark as a symbol of hope and unity.
“Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries, inspiring awe and reverence for its art and architecture and for its enduring place in human history. The Walt Disney Company stands with our friends and neighbors in the community, offering our heartfelt support as well as a $5 million donation for the restoration of this irreplaceable masterpiece.”
70-year-old Bernard Arnault, whose family owns conglomerate LVMH, donated $226 million. He also offered the assistance of Louis Vuitton’s “creative, architectural, and financial specialists” to assist efforts. This has been the largest single donation as of yet, and put the total well on its way to achieving $1 billion.
Along with the billionaires behind Kering and L’Oreal, the total went up to nearly $565 million.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also announced that his company is going to make a donation to help restore Notre Dame cathedral. Cook took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to announce that the donation would be forthcoming, but did not offer specifics.
We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope. Relieved that everyone is safe. Apple will be donating to the rebuilding efforts to help restore Notre Dame’s precious heritage for future generations.????????
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 16, 2019
By Wednesday, the fundraising efforts had already reached $900 million — but that number continues to grow with almost every passing moment. Here are some of the other donors, and donations, which have come forth:
- AXA — $11 million.
- BNP — $22.5 million.
- Brothers Martin and Olivier Bouygues — $11 million.
- Capgemini — $1.1 million.
- Foundation du Patrimoine — $2.3 million.
- JCDexaux — $22.5 million.
- Kering — $133 million.
- L’Oreal — $226 million.
- Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière — $11 million.
- Societe Generale — $11 million.
- The European Central Bank — $10 million.
- The Walt Disney Company — $5 million.
- Total (French oil and gas) — $113 million.
Crowdfunding site dartagnans.fr currently has a campaign called “Notre-Dame de Paris, Je T’aime!” in support of rebuilding efforts. Said campaign has raised more than $90,000 as of this writing.
Mobilisation incroyable pour Notre-Dame ! C'est avec émotion que nous traitons vos dons et vos messages de soutien. Nous avons déjà récolté environ 2 millions d’euros pour sauver Notre-Dame.
Faire un don sur ➡ https://t.co/M6x5tOvavY pic.twitter.com/zdhCVdELXT
— Fondation du patrimoine (@fond_patrimoine) April 16, 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron has already revealed that he wants the Notre Dame cathedral to be rebuilt in five years. Some experts have already said that the damage from the fire is so extensive that it would easily take 10 to 20 years for the work to be completed.
As reported by My News 13, Macron’s deadline does fall in line with the Paris Olympics scheduled for 2024.