It seems like a whole world away, but long before COVID-19, the world was brought to a standstill by the fire that gutted Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral.
The fire occurred on April 15th, 2019, and was all that anyone could talk about as the 850-year-old landmark and priceless artefacts were destroyed by a blaze that ripped through the cathedral.
It motivated some of the world’s richest people into action, and within days, 1.6 billion had been pledged by France’s wealthiest individuals and corporations to restore the Roman Catholic cathedral.
However, many are curious as to whether or not they will pay up. Six months after the fire, only some of the money from wealthy donors materialised. Early work to repair the building replied on $59 billion in smaller donations from individuals and businesses.
As the first anniversary of the fire approaches, where are the billions for the Notre Dame?
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“I can confirm that all the companies that committed to pay money for the restoration of the cathedral to the Notre Dame Foundation have either already paid it in full or have contracted to pay it as and when needs,” the foundation's funding director Jean-Michel Mangeot said to Business Insider.
The other three charities raising money have not revealed the status of the pledges they have received.
The future of the cathedral remains unclear due to the coronavirus pandemic delaying vital work, with 500 tonnes of melted metal lattice on the roof of the weakened building threatening to come down at any minute.
It is not currently known when workers are able to start repairing the cathedral.
This article originally appeared on Over60.