On April 15, 2019, a fire broke out on the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris, devastating the cathedral. In the hours and days that followed, there was a tremendous outpouring of solidarity to rebuild this masterpiece of French heritage. The very day after the disaster, Fondation de France was called upon to launch a fundraising drive, along with three other organizations. It has raised over €30 million, thanks to the generosity of 11,000 donors!
How is the use of donations overseen?
Donations are transferred to a special public entity overseeing the preservation and restoration of the Notre-Dame cathedral (Établissement public chargé de la conservation et de la restauration de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris). Created to supervise the restoration, this body is backed by a scientific committee, an audit committee (responsible for overseeing funding and proper use of expenditures), and a donors committee (which will report on the progress of the work and the use of donations). Fondation de France participates in the latter committee.
In keeping with the commitments made to donors, donations to Fondation de France are solely earmarked to fund preservation and restoration work on the church and its furnishings, as well as to train heritage specialists whose skills will be required for the project. Donations may not go to any other project management costs or to operating expenses of the public entity. An initial disbursement of €5.9 million was paid to the public entity in 2020 to cover security and structural reinforcement work.
How to make a donation?
By cheque made payable to:
Fondation de France – Notre Dame, 60509 Chantilly Cedex
A dramatic construction site
Immediately after the fire, a project of unprecedented scope and complexity began, involving 40 companies and some 70 specialized workers. The first year was spent securing the site, clearing out debris, and assessing the condition of the building. Although construction was held up due to the pandemic and lockdown, the project is currently underway— with an ambitious goal: reopening for worship by spring of 2024.
To learn more about the main phases of the project, the structure and oversight of the restoration fund, and the role of Fondation de France and its donors, download the report Notre-Dame: One Year Later.
The Fondation de France signs the agreement to transfer notre-dame donations to the french government
On Monday, July 29, 2019, Culture Minister Franck Riester signed agreements with the three foundations legally designated to collect donations as well as with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. The agreements were signed by Fondation de France President Pierre Sellal, as well as Philippe Bélaval (Centre des Monuments Nationaux), Monsignor Michel Aupetit (Fondation Notre-Dame), and Guillaume Poitrinal (Fondation du Patrimoine). These agreements ensure the transfer to the French government of the donations collected as part of the national fundraising drive for the preservation and restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, "guaranteeing French and foreign donors that their donations will be managed stringently and transparently."
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