Fundraising efforts begin for Notre-Dame

Fundraising efforts have immediately begun towards rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Fundraising efforts have immediately begun towards rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The fire that devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has prompted fundraising appeals in the United States, as people horrified by the blaze began making commitments to restore a global landmark even before the flames are extinguished.

The New York-based French Heritage Society and the Go Fund Me crowdsourcing platform were among the first to offer help for a cathedral that is a must-see destination for visitors to Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron said an international campaign would be launched to raise funds for the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The French Heritage Society, an American non-profit group dedicated to preserving French architectural and cultural treasures, launched a web page to raise money for the cathedral's restoration.

"Notre-Dame is obviously an architectural marvel and most certainly a monument that should be restored," Jennifer Herlein, the executive director of the society, said.

Herlein could not immediately say how much her organisation had raised for Notre-Dame. Eventually, the funds raised will go directly to the cathedral, she said.

At the website GoFundMe, more than 50 campaigns related to the cathedral fire had been launched globally on Monday, John Coventry, a spokesman for Go Fund Me, said.

Some of the Go Fund Me campaigns had not listed any money raised by late Monday, and several joke campaigns were created through Go Fund Me to help Quasimodo, the fictional character in Victor Hugo's 19th century novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Notre-Dame Cathedral has looked to international donors for past renovation efforts.

In 2017, Michel Picaud, president of Friends of Notre-Dame De Paris, told the New York Times his group planned to organise gala dinners, concerts and other events to raise funds in France and the US for restoration work at the cathedral.

Meanwhile, the family investment firm of French luxury goods magnate Francois-Henri Pinault will contribute 100 million euros ($A158 million) towards the rebuilding of the cathedral, news agency AFP has reported.

"Faced with such a tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back as soon as possible to this jewel of our heritage," Pinault wrote in a press statement.

Pinault is president and chief executive of the luxury goods firm Kering, which owns brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. The contribution will come from the Pinault family's investment firm.

Australian Associated Press