Travel Leaders, Ponant Owner Donate to Notre Dame Restoration

A worker checks on a wooden support structure placed on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. // Photo by AP Photo/Francois Mori via Newscred

With French President Emmanuel Macron vowing to rebuild after Monday’s devastating fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, travel industry organizations are donating to restoration efforts.

In a statement provided to Travel Agent, Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko said that the organization’s travel advisors are raising funds for the restoration through the Tzell and Protravel Foundation. Additionally, Travel Leaders Group will match the amount raised.

“We are deeply saddened by the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral yesterday,” Chacko said on Tuesday. “Everyone who has visited Paris or dreamed of traveling to Paris is heartbroken by this catastrophic event. Any time a historic landmark is damaged to this degree it is a great loss to our shared history…We stand with Paris, an iconic city that has weathered challenges before, and we know our travelers will continue supporting the city, whose many incredible cultural institutions educate and enlighten the world every day.”

Donations can be made by visiting http://tzellandprotravelfoundation.com/.

The Pinault family, which owns Ponant, as well as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has also pledged $113 million to rebuilding efforts. All told, French and international businesses have pledged $700 million to rebuilding efforts, according to numbers compiled by USA Today, including the LVMH Group, which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, as well as French oil and gas company Total, tech and consulting firm Capgemini, L'Oréal and Apple.

The fire, which broke out Monday, caused the collapse of the cathedral’s central spire, although firefighters were able to save the main structure, bell towers, and a number of major works of art, some of which had been moved recently as part of restoration efforts. The Archaeological Crypt of the Ile de la Cité remains closed Wednesday due to the incident.

In a televised address Tuesday evening Macron said that he hoped to rebuild the cathedral within five years.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the blaze is still underway, and will likely take some time, according to The Local.fr. Investigators have ruled out arson as the cause of the fire, and they have determined that it began at the base of the steeple before collapsing the central spire, which had been the center of restoration work. Investigators are speaking to the construction companies involved in the restoration, and they will be using drones to take aerial photos to learn more about the fire’s spread.

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