The fire-gutted Notre Dame will be restored to its former look, as confirmed by a French law.
The project will be supervised by the President of France. He will be assisted by a newly-formed agency created especially for this project. The agency will also handle donations, repair the cathedral surroundings, train the re-builders, inform the community about the restoration, and form a council of advisers. Former Legion d’Honneur chancellor Jean-Louis Georgelin will stand as the agency’s chairperson.
Philippe Villeneuve, who designs historical monuments, will create the design based on current heritage protocol. He will be assisted by Pascal Prunet and Remi Fromont. The team will give updates to the head of the Ministry of Culture. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will also lend a hand on the restoration.
Archbishop Cardinal Michel Aupetit will be in charge of the collection and management of funds while rector archpriest Patrick Chauvet will be operations manager and vicar general Monsignor Benoist de Sinety will be the new agency’s board representative.
Donations poured in after the destructive fire. Among the notable donors were the three most affluent families of France namely Francois Pinault (owner of Gucci), Bernard Arnault (Christian Dior owner) and Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers (L’Oreal owners) who will give a total of 500m euros. Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total, also agreed to give 100m euros.
As cited in the new law, different foundations have already received donations and other organizations are helping raise funds.
To manage international donations, Stanislas de Labouye will serve as the ambassador. A national fund-raising campaign was commissioned under the new law and the cost of the project and research were also validated.
All people in charge are now on board but until now only protective measures are ongoing as the cathedral may still collapse. Currently, only robots are permitted inside to remove debris. How then will the reconstruction be done? Several workers are being hired yet it seems no one can manage the big task of restoration. At present, only minor restorations are being done and a major construction company that can offer complete coordination is needed. No construction firms in France have skillful workers who can do the complete restoration so they need to look for specialists. But where to find them?