Big donors haven’t given money pledged to Notre Dame restoration: report

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Several big-money French donors haven’t contributed the hundreds of millions of dollars they pledged to give to help restore the Notre Dame cathedral, The Associated Press reported.

American and French people make up most of the current donors who vowed to help pay for the reconstruction of the 13th-century structure and the salaries of up to 150 workers it employs.

{mosads}”The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent,” Notre Dame senior press official André Finot told the AP. “They want to know what exactly their money is being spent on and if they agree to it before they hand it over, and not just to pay employees’ salaries.”

In the two months since a massive fire on April 15 destroyed the cathedral’s spire and part of its roof, the Notre Dame Foundation has received $17.7 million worth of donations, and another $425 million was pledged by donors, CNN reports.

Some of France’s richest families and companies promised almost $1 billion in the wake of the fire. That includes Francois Pinault of Artemis, the parent company of what owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, who pledged $112 million, and the CEO of the company that owns Louis Vuitton and Dior pledging $224 million, the AP reports.

{mosads}In the meantime, Michel Picaud, president of the Friends of Notre Dame de Paris — a nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding and preserving the cathedral — estimated that 90 percent of the donations it has received have come from American donors, according to the AP.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the work should be done within five years, but as the organizations responsible for restoration continue waiting for more donations, they’ll have to see how the reconstruction plans progress.

Tags big money donors Emmanuel Macron France Notre Dame Notre Dame fire Paris

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