Donors from around the world have already raised millions of Euros to support the restoration of Paris’ iconic, 850-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was severely damaged by a fire on Monday.
The main spire and the roof of the cathedral, which were undergoing repairs, collapsed; however, the bell towers, façade, and almost all relics, including the iconic rose windows, were saved.
According to French firefighters, the cathedral was minutes away from complete destruction.
French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to have the cathedral rebuilt within five years, for the 2024 Olympics, which will be held in Paris, promising that it will be even “more beautiful,” because it is “what our history deserves.”
To ensure its quick reconstruction, several of France’s wealthiest families, business tycoons, sports teams, and international companies, have pledged to donate hundreds of millions.
A variety of charity-sponsored fundraisers have popped up online and the French government is set to release details of an international fundraising scheme.
UNESCO has also backed reconstruction efforts, as Notre Dame is one of the most visited UNESCO world heritage site, as well as one of the most visited landmarks in the world, drawing in over 13 million tourists a year.
The cathedral was undergoing massive renovations to fix its fragile, faulty structure, damaged by pollution and age.
However, experts say that because of Notre Dame’s current state, renovations, post-fire, will take much longer and be much more expensive, due to preservation of authenticity.
An investigation is underway to ensure the security of the remainder of the building, as well as to determine the cause of the fire.
Officials predict that it was caused by an accidental, internal construction issue; however, they have not completely ruled out other external causes, such as vandalism.