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Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral needs $120M to save its crumbling facade

Otherwise, it’s bye-bye gargoyles

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo by Jenny Xie

Completed in 1345, Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’s most iconic structures. But its French Gothic gargoyles and arches are showing the wear and tear of seven centuries. In recent years, large chunks of stone have chipped off the landmark’s elaborate facade, according to The Guardian. And the culprit isn’t merely age, but also the city’s raging pollution problem.

While France gives the cathedral €2 million ($2.4 million) each year for repairs, the amount falls short of the money needed for a major overhaul to stop the chipping. So the church is now on a fundraising quest, aiming to raise €100 million ($120 million) for restoring the deteriorating facade.

A gargoyle at Notre-Dame.
John Cornellier/Wikipedia

“If we don’t do these restoration works, we’ll risk seeing parts of the exterior structure begin to fall. This is a very serious risk,” said Michel Picaud, president of the charity set up by the church for the fundraising project.

Fun fact: Church officials save the pieces of stone that fall off the building in a collection they lovingly call the “stone cemetery.” The last major exterior restoration of the church was in the 1800s.

Via: The Guardian