Friends of Notre Dame allows donors to select specific works of art for restoration.
When the 2019 fire broke out in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, many priceless works of sacred art and important cultural relics were placed in jeopardy. Dozens of historic paintings and sculptures were ultimately saved from the blaze, but are still in dire need of restoration. Now, the Friends of Notre Dame is inviting potential donors to sponsor a work of art of their choice.
Friends of Notre Dame, a non-profit originating in 2017, launched their new fundraising website on April 15, 2021, precisely two years after the fire. There, they explain that they had already planned to gather donations for art restoration prior to the inferno. After the events of April 15, 2019, their goals expanded to rebuild and restore the cathedral as a whole.
Choose what to sponsor
In order to accomplish this, they have come up with a novel idea to get donors involved. Visitors to the website will find a gallery of Notre Dame’s fine art, and they can then select an item and indicate how much they would like to donate for its restoration. Now the faithful can sponsor their favorite works of art to ensure they continue to adorn Notre Dame’s hallowed walls upon reopening.
The website is streamlined for efficiency. A simple click into the “Gallery” section presents more than 40 works of art for consideration. These include grand 15th -century oil paintings from France’s own Charles le Brun, gargoyles which ornament the facade, and even the 25-meter long “Choir Carpet” that was rolled out for papal visits.
Donors are free to choose any of the listed works of art to sponsor, although several have items have already reached their target donation amounts. If the art doesn’t catch their eye, they can specify that their donation go toward the restoration of the building instead. Donations are tax deductible and all proceeds will go towards the donors chosen work of art.
The restoration of Notre Dame de Paris is a project that will take years of work. The project is estimated to cost well over $1 billion to complete. In a recent assessment of the restoration’s progress Notre Dame’s rector, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, hailed the effort, saying:
“I can say today that the cathedral is saved. It is well secured ,and we can now do the huge work of reconstruction that is not going to destabilize the whole building.”
Now that the structure is secure, the largest effort will be restoring the beauty of the beloved French cathedral. Along with the roof and spire, restoring the art is essential to its beautification. Officials hope that in 2024 Notre Dame will be open to the estimated 12 million visitors per year they enjoyed prior to the fire.
Visit restorenotredame.org today to learn how to get involved.