It is one of the French capital’s most famous landmarks but its falling to bits. Well parts of it are.
The gargoyles and gothic arches of Notre-Dame Cathedral are sorely in need of restoration. To that end the Archbishop of Paris has launched a fundraising drive
to raise over 100 million euros.
While pollution and age are mainly to blame, previous restoration attempts have been less than successful.
The Cathedral’s Communication Director Andre Finot wonders if the builders during the 1800s restoration might have been tricked into buying bad quality stone. “There are inconsistencies … in one area it’s good but in another its in an advanced state of damage,” he said.
Despite the chipped stones, every year 12 to 14 million people from all over the world visit the 12th century cathedral. It’s very popular.
“It’s the symbol of Paris, or even France, and it’s very famous just like the Forbidden City in China. Yes, so it’s a must-go place in Paris,” said Chinese student Ellen Lina.
“It’s the movie as well for me, I just think of ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’, and the book as well. After reading that book I actually really wanted to come see it,” commented USA student Claire Huber.
Entry into Notre-Dame is free and the French state, which owns the building, gives two million euros a year for repairs. But its not enough for the major restoration work needed to conserve what many see as the representing the heart of Paris.