The devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral yesterday has broken the heart of France and of people all over the world. I was devastated when I learned the news and I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear.
The spire (all of it) and the wooden roof structure (maybe two-thirds of it) were lost, but the encouraging news is that much of the building’s facade and collection of treasures will live on. Per The New York Times, France’s culture minister told French radio today that “Notre Dame’s treasury, which included, for example, the crown of thorns and the tunic of Saint Louis, is safe in Paris City Hall” and “the large rose windows don’t appear to have suffered catastrophic damage.” The NYT story goes on to list the status of other major treasures that were at risk during the fire.
The next steps, per authorities in Paris, include securing the structure (it was undergoing renovations and is draped in now-damaged scaffolding) in the next 48 hours and, after that, an inventory of the treasures inside. Meanwhile, nearly $700 million has already been pledged to the rebuild effort, and the money is still pouring in. So how can you contribute yourself?
Fast Company put together a list of three outlets for your help, starting with Friends of Notre-Dame, “the primary organization that has raised money for the restoration that was underway.” As “the U.S. branch is a 501c3 public charity…all gifts [are] tax-deductible for U.S. contributors.” The rebuild will no doubt have all the backing it needs, but all love and support for one of the world’s great buildings—which we featured in last week’s Travel App of the Week—is going to be appreciated. Notre-Dame is more than just a cathedral. It’s one of the first places I visited on my maiden trip to Europe when I was 26. I’ve even attended mass there with my mom. It’s a special place, and we need to help our friends in France.
A BBC News report on the status of Notre-Dame is below:
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