The new fundraiser will bring the cathedral into the 21st century.
The Archdiocese of Paris is asking for more funds to help bring much needed updates to Notre Dame. The campaign is seeking between 5 and 6 million euros to help modernize the interior.
Notre Dame de Paris was devastated by fire in April, 2019. Even as it was burning, Catholics around the world were pledging donations to restore the iconic French church. The Archdiocese reportedly raised over 800 million euros, but this money is limited in its use.
The regulations around Notre Dame’s funds are due to a law that was passed shortly after the fire. First Post explains that the law stipulates that funds raised via the public subscription may only be used to maintain the structure and historic aspects of the building. This means that none of the money raised so far can go to anything but restoring what was already there.
This rule has placed the Archdiocese in the position where they must ask for more donations. Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit said in a statement that the goal was “to bring the cathedral into the 21st century, while ensuring the preservation of its identity in the spirit of the Christian tradition.”
The new round of fundraising would go to renovating the lighting and sound systems, installing new furniture for visitors, and updating the tour layout. Prior to 2019, Notre Dame welcomed around 6 million visitors for tours annually. It is expected to draw similar crowds upon its reopening, currently planned for Spring 2024.
Notre Dame has a lot to do on the restoration front before they can begin renovating. The groundwork has been laid for the restoration effort, but they do not expect to be in full swing until late 2021. Although they have planned to reopen in 2024, construction may continue for many years to come.