Road To Recovery

People step up and donate

George Hodan

By Kendall Propst, Staff Writer

On Monday, April 15, 2019 the entire world watched as the Notre Dame Cathedral was encompassed by flames. The fires were still burning as France began their plans of reconstruction. Almost immediately, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe convened a crisis meeting.  

During the night, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the devastation and vowed to rebuild the cathedral to its original form. The proposal was encouraged by Pope Francis as he stated on twitter that the damage would be, “transformed into hope with reconstruction.” 

Across the world, money poured in for reconstruction, both from philanthropists and people who had seen the horrors of Notre Dame only in photos. Some donors mentioned that the outpouring of their generous donations, showed the importance of a building that had resembled the faith, art and heart of France itself. Furthermore, the French officials have planned to launch a national collection drive for the reconstruction. This will cause the donations to become worldwide and benefit the profit income. French luxury magnate François-Henri Pinault stated that his family would donate about $113 million to the reconstruction. Hours later, the family of Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the LVMH luxury conglomerate and the richest man in Europe, announce their gift of $226 million, showing their generosity to this mandatory construction. Many tend to not understand the true importance of rebuilding such a key part of France. 

On Tuesday morning, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo approached the idea of an “international donor’s conference” that would unite philanthropists and restoration experts in Paris to raise money for the key purposes and concerns in the rebuilding Notre Dame. One expert stated that this major reconstruction effort could take decades.

Many people of the community started to make small local campaigns, believing every donation counts big or small. Their only concern is to rebuild this monumental landmark for their religious purposes, and their peace of destruction.  

“I am not religious myself; I’m an atheist,” said Charles Gosse, an average business school student who launched an online funding campaign and quickly raised $27,000. Gosse also stated, “this is beyond religion. It is a national monument like the Eiffel Tower and the Arch of Triumph.” 

In conclusion, France remains a well-rounded Catholic nation, and many of the residents who came to see the remains of Notre Dame on Tuesday said they were prompted by their faith to rebuild this as a union. Therefore, this disaster will never be forgotten, but can be remembered as the nation coming together to rebuild a place of worship, and a community in Paris, France. Since the incident has struck worldwide in less than 24 hours, people are now stating, this is the holiest week of the year in the Christian calendar.