PARIS, France – Most of the money pledged towards the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral has yet to be collected, the Archbishop of Paris said in a statement Wednesday, May 15.
Donors had pledged about a billion euros ($1.12 billion) but so far "the greater part of these donations have not yet materialized," said the Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit in a statement.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, in the historic heart of Paris, lost its spire and most of its roof in a spectacular fire on April 15, prompting an outpouring of support.
One of the 4 bodies tasked with collecting money to restore Notre Dame, La Fondation du Patrimoine, last weekend announced it had stopped collecting.
It said it had received 218 million euros and that the total received towards restoring the cathedral came to 900 million.
But Culture Minister Franck Riester said Monday, May 13: "It is premature to think that we have too much money collected."
It runs the Notre-Dame Foundation, which the statement said had so far gathered 13.5 million euros.
"That is why the collection continues," the archbishop added.
The foundation is in talks with the Pinault and Arnault families, rival French luxury goods empires that have pledged 100 million and 200 million euros respectively.
These major patrons will stagger their contribution according to how the reconstruction work develops, Christophe Rousselot of the Notre-Dame Foundation told Agence France-Presse.
He said the collection of money was continuing because nobody could yet say how much the restoration work would cost. – Rappler.com