In the aftermath of the devastating fire that ravaged the Notre Dame, Air France has pledged its support to help rebuild one of Paris' most beloved cultural treasures.
Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, with Anne-Marie Couderc, chairman of Air France-KLM, and Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France, have decided that Air France will provide free transport for all official partners involved in the reconstruction of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.
Moreover, in the days ahead, the Air France-KLM group will set up a voluntary donations fund for its customers to help finance the reconstruction work.
Air France and Air France-KLM teams are deeply affected and saddened by the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris yesterday evening.— Air France (@airfrance) April 16, 2019
A part of our heritage and history has suffered a severe blow in this tragic fire. pic.twitter.com/g4PcHBemP7
Much work to be done
While France and the world continue to reel from the destruction to the Notre Dame, according to the Globe and Mail, more than one billion dollars have already been raised in a 24-hour period to help re-construct the almost 900-year-old cathedral.
While many precious artifacts were recovered from the burn site, the extent of what was lost is still largely unknown.
Highly-flammable and priceless works of art, including oil paintings, tapestries, and precious stained glass are known to be inside the Notre Dame, many of them dating all the way back to the 13th century when work first began on the church.
Global News reportted that "two of France's wealthiest men, Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of the Kering group which owns brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and Bernard Arnault, the main shareholder of luxury group LVMH, said they would donate 100 million euros ($113 million) and 200 million euros respectively. The city of Paris pledged 50 million euros."
Prior to the fire, the Notre Dame was already in the midst of a $6M reconstruction project to preserve some of the relics and structures that had begun to crumble.
According to CBS News, some are speculating it could take as long as 20 to 40 years to fully-rebuild the Notre Dame, which originally took more than 100 years to build, piece by piece.
The existing wooden beams, crafted from more than 3,000 pieces, are impossible to recreate, due to the fact that oak trees of that volume and sheer size from the Medieval period no longer exist in France.
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