$1 billion has already been given to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral: report

$1 billion has already been given to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral: report
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Donations for the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral after it was severely damaged by a fire Monday are already nearing $1 billion, according to The Associated Press.

In less than two days, contributions have reached 880 million euros, or $995 million, according to presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern. The French government is in the process of establishing a special office to handle larger donations, according to the AP.


Donors thus far have ranged from large corporations like Apple and the owners of L’Oreal, Chanel and Dior to local parishioners and residents of small and midsized French towns, according to the news service.

Despite the pace of donations, experts are skeptical about French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronPresidents and 'presidents' Trump postpones G-7, plans to invite Russia, other nations German chancellor says she 'cannot confirm' she'll attend possible G7 summit MORE’s vow that repairs will be completed within five years, according to the AP.

French conservation architect Pierluigi Pericolo said the restorative work will take “no less than 15 years ... it’s a colossal task,” according to the AP, saying ensuring the cathedral’s structural stability alone could take up to five years. Pericolo was part of restoration efforts for the 19th-century Saint-Donatien basilica in Nantes after it suffered serious fire damage in 2015.

“The end of the fire doesn’t mean the edifice is totally saved,” Pericolo told France-Info, according to the AP. “The stone can deteriorate when it is exposed to high temperatures and change its mineral composition and fracture inside.”

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, a cathedral spokesman expressed doubts it would reopen for at least three years.

Macron will hold a Cabinet meeting Wednesday to address how to move forward following the fire, which investigators suspect was accidental and possibly caused during renovation work, according to the AP.