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Notre Dame opens its doors to worshipers for first time since fire

Sat 15 Jun 2019
By Ruth Sax

The Notre Dame Cathedral is opening its doors to worshipers today, marking the first time since a devastating fire tore through its halls in April.

The diocese of Paris announced that a mass will be held on Saturday evening with only about 30 people, including clerics, worshipers and media in attendance.

Those attending the mass will be required to wear hard hats for safety.

 

 

Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit will deliver the mass, which will be televised live and streamed online.

Since the fire, two months ago, only a small fraction of the multi-million pound pledges to rebuild the cathedral have been paid.

Hundreds of millions was promised toward the restoration of the cathedral’s roof and spire by some of France's richest and most powerful families and companies, however, according to officials, so far they have not yet paid a penny.

Instead, it has been mainly American citizens, through the charitable foundation Friends of Notre Dame, who have footed the bills and paid salaries for up to 150 workers employed since the fire.

  

 

 

This month the foundation is handing over the first payment for the cathedral's reconstruction of 3.6 million euros (£3.2m).

"The big donors haven't paid. Not a cent," said Andre Finot, senior press official at Notre Dame.

“They want to know what exactly their money is being spent on and if they agree to it before they hand it over, and not just to pay employees' salaries."

Fundraising groups say they have only had £50m of £570m officially promised.

 

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