By Gregory Viscusi and Bloomberg
April 17, 2019

More than 800 million euros ($920 million) has already been pledged for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral, according to French Culture Minister Franck Riester. The normal annual budget for restoring national monuments is about 300 million euros, he said.

The immediate priority is to secure Notre Dame’s vault, which has a gaping hole in the middle after its spire collapsed during Monday night’s fire, Riester said in an interview on France2 television. Other quickly needed steps are removing melted statues that are weighing on fragile parts of the outer structure.

Donations can be made via http://www.rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr, which has links to four approved organizations, Riester said. Wealthy individuals and companies already have pledged hundreds of millions of euros for the project.

President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday night said the cathedral will be rebuilt in five years. “It’s a nice ambition,”’ Riester said. “We will mobilize all our know-how, all the donations.” He said it was too early to talk about how the cathedral will be restored and with what materials and techniques.

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