By Talia Avakian
April 16, 2019
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

As the world mourns the damages that were caused to the famed Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out on Monday, April 15, efforts are now underway to rebuild the historic structure.

Nearly 400 firefighters from Paris mobilized to put out the fire, which was extinguished after multiple hours of battling the flames.

Secretary of State to the Interior Minister Laurent Nunez wrote on Twitter that should the fire have lasted 15 minutes longer, the building would have been lost.

The main structure of the cathedral was saved, as well as most of the main works of art within its corridors, Police officials said, though there are still signs of fragility throughout the building that require security that will last for at least 48 hours.

While items like the Crown of Thorns (believed by some to have been worn on the head of Jesus Christ), the tunic of Saint Louis, and the structure's famed bell towers survived, its roof, part of its vault, and its iconic spire erected in the mid-nineteenth century by architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc collapsed.  Some works will be transfered to the Louvre to be restored. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to launch a national subscription starting Tuesday to rebuild the iconic cathedral, with several organizations also launching rebuilding funds to allow people from all over the world to donate to the cause.

While more funds may open, some current options for donations include the following:

  • Friends of Notre-Dame: This 501c3 charity has been created by the Archbishop of Paris in partnership with the Diocese of Paris to raise funds to help restore the cathedral. 
  • Fondation du Patrimoine: Fondation du Patrimoine focuses on preserving historic cultural gems within France that includes churches, castles, theaters, and more. Donations can currently be made online or by check. 
  • The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which stands as the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, is accepting both donations and prayer intentions to support the cathedral.
  • French Heritage Society: French Heritage Society, which is devoted to protecting French architectural gems in both France and the U.S., has created a Notre Dame fire restoration fund to accept donations for restoration work. Those donating are asked to indicate that the amount is for the “Notre Dame Fire Restoration Fund” when sending donations. Donations can be made online, via telephone, or by mail.

Franck Riester, France’s Minister of Culture, also pointed to organizations that include Fondation de France, the Fondation Avenir du Patrimoine in Paris, and the Center for National Monuments donations page for those looking to give to the cause.

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