Fire at the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris
A fire has damaged the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris on the evening of 15 April 2019. It is a tragedy that has moved the whole nation.
Exceptional means were deployed to extinguish the fire that was raging inside and outside the cathedral. 400 firemen courageously and devotedly fought against the fire, risking their lives in hazardous conditions in order to avoid the worst. Canadair planes could not be used as they were not technically adapted to extinguish this type of fire,and dropping water would have endangered the whole structure. The fire has reportedly caused no casualties for the moment, and the structure of the cathedral and its two main towers were saved. An inquiry has been opened by the Procurement authority of Paris in order to identify the cause of the fire.
The President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron sent his thoughts to Catholics, Parisians and all French citizens, and paid tribute to the firemen’s exceptional efforts: “Notre-Dame is the cathedral of all our compatriots, even those who never entered it.” He said that “we [would] rebuild it together” and that a funding campaign would be launched, on both national and international level: “We will call upon the greatest talents and we will rebuild Notre-Dame.”
The President expressed the wish to rebuild Notre-Dame in 5 years. A special mission to ensure the progress of work will be established, entrusted to General Jean-Louis Georgelin (former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces) and an international architectural competition to rebuild the spire will be launched.
How to contribute to the rebuilding of Notre-Dame?
The Government announced the establishment of a fundraising portal, www.rebatirnotredame.gouv.fr, bringing together 4 organizations that will centralize donations, ensuring transparency and payment security: le Centre des monuments nationaux, la Fondation du Patrimoine, la Fondation de France et la Fondation Notre-Dame.
A bill will be presented next week to give a legal framework to the donations, and in particular clarify the guarantees of transparency and good management of donations. A committee chaired by the first President of the Court of Auditors and the Chairs of the Finance and Culture committees of both assemblies will ensure that these guarantees are well respected.