Guest post by Sarah Kubican:
Everyone remembers the fire that devastated Notre Dame de Paris during April; it had my co-workers at the time glued to their computer screens, captivated by the idea of an international icon sending smoke into the cerulean Parisian sky. The history app I had on my phone (the one that gave me daily happenings in history) sent a banner to my phone with the heart-wrenching image of those unmistakable bell towers flanked by orange flames. The event brought the attention of the entire word, but, more specifically, it brought the attention of Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest man in France. Following the fire, he promised two hundred million euros to the restoration effort that had become the next subject of conversation surrounding the cathedral.
Of course, there were concerns that Arnault or his companies may just be searching for the tax deduction that comes with the gift. However, after a promise from both, an agreement for a donation of two hundred million euros is being signed with Foundation Notre Dame (one of four government designated charities for the effort). To date, the foundation has three hundred eighty million euros in donations (and pledges for donations). Yet, the total cost for the renovation won’t be know until next spring.