Paris. France. A devastating fire broke out on the 15th of April in Paris, destroying an important part of the Notre Dame cathedral, one of the central symbols of Western culture and spirituality. This occurrence has brought a considerable amount of grief upon people from all over the world, for whom the 12th century Gothic cathedral was and will continue to be an epitome of architectural genius and creative beauty. Undoubtedly the loss and the shock left in the wake of its destruction is great and will be felt for a very long time to come.
Apart from causing pain and bewilderment among regular citizens, the unfortunate incident has touched the hearts of France’s economic elite, who in the span of 3 days managed to gather 1 billion € to support the reconstruction and restoration of the well-known and well-beloved church.
Their generosity allowed the entire world to feel a ray of hope in the midst of great sadness and desolation, demonstrating that people do have the ability to stand together, be charitable and chip in when they are most needed. In the name of solidarity, the philanthropic magnates confirm they are also donating €37,20 to homeless shelters worldwide, €12,89 to rare diseases clinical research, as well as €7,45 to ending child labor in West Africa.
“At the end of the day we must know that a church – no matter how old and how important, how beautiful or how impressive – is only a man-made symbol of faith and love. It is a place of worship where people go to learn about what lies beyond the wonderful paintings and the stained glass.”, Archbishop Michel Aupetit concludes without additional commentary.