Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Restoration of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris - how to donate

This is about ways to donate if you feel strongly that you would like to contribute to the restoration of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

Yesterday evening, I wrote about The Destruction of Notre Dame - only the stone will remain and posted my photos of Notre Dame from my visit in 2009 on my Facebook Page

Today my mind turns to the future - and the restoration and how it will be funded. I contributed to the Fund for rebuilding of the Glasgow Art School after their dreadful fire and will also be contributing to the restoration of Notre Dame.

The spire of Notre Dame burning before it collapsed through the vaulted stone ceiling of the cathedral

Contributions are going to be of three types:
  • practical - those who can provide space and equipment and IT for what will be a massive project
  • expert - people who can actually contribute to the work of restoration
  • financial - those who can fund the actual restoration and rebuilding works
Below are details of 
  • pledges by the French
  • the official organisation funding the restoration prior to the fire
  • different organisations accepting charitable contributions from American taxpayers

Pledges by the French

Various French billionaires and French companies have pledged huge sums currently totalling €600 million (£520 million / $677 million) At present there's a bit of what seems like status-based arm-flexing going on amongst French companies in terms of pledges being made!
  • €200 million (£172.7m) 
    • Bernard Arnault's family / his LVMH luxury goods group 
    • L'Oreal, the Bettencourt Meyers family / Bettencourt Schueller Foundation
  • €100 million
    • French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault 
    • French oil and gas company Total
The Louvre will be providing a home for the artworks and artifacts rescued from the building.

Friends of Notre-Dame: This is the official organisation that has raised money for the restoration that was underway.
  • This is the donation page on its website. Apparently more than €2 million (£1.7m) has been raised in less than 24 hours for the rebuild through an official website.
  • It pre-dates the fire, was already helping to fund the restoration and has offices in both France and the USA. 
  • The website explains the curious arrangements which led to this situation - and why President Macron was so very prominent at the fire last night!
As a result of a French law passed in 1905, the cathedral became the property of the French State but its use is dedicated exclusively to the Roman Catholic rite. Entrance is free of charge. It is classified as a French Historic Monument.
As owner and project manager, the French Ministry of Culture is responsible for regular maintenance, repairs and renovation of the building. Up unto this point all work was financed by the French State. But because of budgetary changes the State no longer wishes to assume the burden of financing desperately needed repairs. For this reason the Archbishop of Paris, in concert with the Diocese of Paris, have created the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris.
My recommendation would be to donate direct to the organisation already set up for the purposes of restoring the cathedral.

The Rose Window in the South Transept (2009) which is now very dirty but appears to have survived

Support from International Sources


  • The U.S. branch of the Friends of Notre-Dame (see above) is a 501c3 public charity, making all gifts tax-deductible for U.S. contributors.
  • The New York-based French Heritage Society has launched a Notre-Dame Fire Restoration Fund. It is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible for American taxpayers. Its eleven chapters in the U.S. and one in Paris have supported the restoration of nearly 600 buildings and gardens since 1982.
Guided by the belief that the most enduring expression of a culture is to pass on its highest achievements, French Heritage Society is dedicated to protecting the French architectural and cultural legacy both in France and the United States, with emphasis on raising funds for preservation, restoration and education.
  • Basilica of the National Shrine (Washington, D.C): Those Americans who prefer to contribute via the Catholic church need to note that the largest Roman Catholic church in North America has launched its own fundraising campaign. 
  • Apple has indicated it intends to support the restoration.


I'm unclear what is being set up in the UK to help fund the restoration. I imagine this might be led by the Church and the Cardinal of Westminster - but who knows?


As you can imagine various small projects have been set up to fund the restoration on Go Fund Me. However you can be assured that Go Fund Me will be making very sure that the funds will not be released by Go Fund Me until confirmation has been received that transfers will be made to the right people.
“Since the news broke last night, hundreds of campaigns have been launched by people wanting help rebuild Notre Dame. As ever on GoFundMe, we are in full control of funds until we are absolutely sure that they will get to the right place,”
communications manager John Coventry

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