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Small Donors, Not French Billionaires, Are Paying to Fix Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral’s high altar in April.

Notre Dame Cathedral’s high altar in April.

Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg
Updated on

Paris (AP) -- The billionaire French donors who publicly proclaimed they would give hundreds of millions to rebuild Notre Dame have not yet paid a penny toward the restoration of the French national monument, according to church and business officials.

Instead, it's mainly American and French individuals, via Notre Dame charitable foundations, that are behind the first donations paying the bills and salaries for up to 150 workers employed by the cathedral since the April 15 fire that devastated its roof and caused its masterpiece spire to collapse. This month they are handing over the first private payment for the cathedral's reconstruction of 3.6 million euros ($4 million).