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NOTRE DAME

Beware of fake appeals for Notre-Dame

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the Notre-Dame fire to fool donors into handing over cash believing they are helping to rebuild the gutted Paris cathedral, officials have warned.

Beware of fake appeals for Notre-Dame
The French Heritage Foundation, which has so far collected more than 13 million euros ($14.5 million) from individual donors to help restore the gothic landmark, said any phone or email appeals were fake. 
   
“A number of scams have been flagged to us both in France and abroad,” the foundation said Wednesday, insisting it issues no appeals by phone, mail or email for donations. “All of these initiatives are fraudulent.”
   
The foundation is accepting donations through its website (don.fondation-patrimoine.org), its Facebook page, PayPal, a Paris metro station and by SMS for those in France.
 
French heritage group La Fondation de patrimonie has also set up a fund inviting people to donate to the rebuilding fund. You can donate by CLICKING HERE.
 
Will Notre-Dame's multi-million euro restoration be covered by insurance?
Photo: AFP
 
Notre-Dame cathedral also has its own webpage where people can donate, although it seemed to be struggling under the weight of visitors on Tuesday morning.
 
In the meantime the French Heritage Society has set up its own fund. The Paris-based charity is dedicated to promoting French heritage, both in France and the US.
 
Chairwoman Elizabeth Stribling, previously said: “I fight back tears as I write this. Notre Dame is more than a religious symbol, it speaks of human achievements and great art. 
 
“Although it's located in France, it is part of great world art that informs our culture and heritage. We must all spring to action.”
 
Full details of the fund can be found here, donations are tax deductible and eligible for tax deductions under French law.
 
IN PICTURES: Full scale of the damage at Notre-Dame revealed
Photo: AFP
 
Washington DC's main catholic church the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has also launched a fund in solidarity with Notre-Dame.
 
Their page invites prayers in solidarity or donations to the rebuilding of the iconic cathedral; which was engulfed in flames on Monday evening.

   
Culture Minister Franck Riester on Tuesday warned people to be vigilant of websites claiming to support the reconstruction of Notre-Dame, which suffered heavy damage in Monday's blaze. 
   
French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the monument by 2024, when France hosts the summer Olympics.

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HISTORY

Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

France's Notre-Dame cathedral is finally ready to undergo restoration work more than two years after a blaze ravaged the heritage landmark, and remains on course to reopen in 2024, authorities said Saturday, following months of painstaking work to secure the building.

Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

The great mediaeval edifice survived the inferno on April 15th, 2019, but the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed.

The focus until now had been on making the cathedral safe before restoration work could begin, which included the strenuous task of removing 40,000 pieces of scaffolding that were damaged in the blaze.

“The cathedral stands solid on its pillars, its walls are solid, everything is holding together,” said Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the public entity tasked with rebuilding the cathedral.

Scaffolding in the interior of the building as the restoration phase begins. Photo by Thomas SAMSON / POOL / AFP

“We are determined to win this battle of 2024, to reopen our cathedral in 2024. It will be France’s honour to do so and we will do so because we are all united on this goal.”

The aim is to celebrate the first full service in the cathedral on April 16th, 2024 – five years after the fire – despite delays caused by the pandemic and the lead that spread during the blaze.

The Notre-Dame spire, a later addition to the medieval building, was completely destroyed in the blaze. Photos by AFP

Authorities will now call for tenders to select the companies to carry out the restoration work.

The cathedral’s interior walls and floors will also undergo “a thorough cleaning process” later this month.

Notre-Dame’s famous Grand Organ is already being restored, with its 8,000 pipes dismantled and sent to organ builders all over France.

It is expected to be put together again in October 2023, said Georgelin, the former head of France’s armed forces who was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to oversee rebuilding efforts.

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