Notre Dame de Paris is a majestic gothic cathedral dating back to the 12th century. Made famous by Victor Hugo’s novel and by the musicals and Disney films derived from his book, millions visit every year from all over the globe making it one of the most popular monuments in the world. Since the implementation of the Church and State law of 1905, Notre-Dame de Paris belongs to the French State. However, the Archdiocese of Paris exercises full disposal and free use of the Cathedral on a perpetual basis. The Cathedral is the seat of Andre Cardinal Vingt-Trois, catholic Archbishop of Paris.
Unfortunately, the architectural state of the cathedral is in very bad condition. This does not appear at first glance as the façade was restored in the nineties. However, below are a few examples of the urgent repairs needed :
- the nearly 100 meter high spire and the 12 apostles that crown it have a large number of cracks and fissures that need an immediate restoration,
- the aging stonework of all of the flying buttresses are causing problems for the stability of the whole building,
- many pinnacles and gargoyles are in disrepair or have fallen down and
- the lead framework of the stained0glass windows is weakened
The Ministry of Culture summarized all these needed repairs in a 2014 audit. The overall cost of the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris is estimated to be around €150 million. This estimate includes both the base infrastructure as well as other architectural and cultural treasures. Ideally, these renovations need to be completed within the next 5 years, and at the latest within 15 years.
The French State is only able to fund part of the renovation (approximately spending €2 million per year today and up to €4 million in the next 10 years), therefore the Church of Paris has decided to raise funds externally for the restoration of the cathedral to speed up the necessary work on this iconic building.
After numerous discussions with Vassar College, which has been very active in the architectural research on the Cathedral, and following the regular visit of prominent US citizens, politicians and business people keen to support the project, the Archbishop of Paris decided to raise funds not only in France but also in the US and worldwide.
Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris
The new 501(c)3 charity was incorporated in October 2016 under the name of “Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris.”
The Project Team completed the IRS filing for tax0exemption in January 2017 and was recognized by the IRS end of April 2017 as a public charity under section 501c3 or the Internal Revenue Code. Donors are consequently eligible for contribution deduction. This allows the charity to begin operating and actively seeking donors in the US from now on.
The objective is to fund the renovation of the architectural and cultural treasures of the cathedral through private donors in France, in the US via “Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris”, and worldwide. At the same time, the funding of the renovation of the base infrastructure will be guaranteed by the French State. This will allow a full renovation of the Cathedral in the minimum period.
Contact details :
President, Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris – Mécénat
6, Parvis Notre-Dame
More information on that page.