Over $1 billion raised for Notre Dame

News 17/04/2019

More than NZ$1.1 billion has been pledged to help rebuild the centuries-old Notre Dame cathedral.

French companies and local authorities have pledged millions to rebuild the cathedral, and American groups are fundraising too.

A spokesperson for the crowdfunding platform Go Fund Me said more than 50 campaigns related to the cathedral fire have been launched.

Around 50 people are investigating the fire that caused major damage to the cathedral on Tuesday (NZ time), but prosecutors believe it was an accident.

Parisan locals are still in shock and have turned out to the cathedral in droves to pay their respects.

"Some people come to take photographs, some to pray and others to look and marvel at while so much was lost, the reports still say so much was saved," one said, reports the BBC.

US President Donald Trump has spoken to French counterpart Emmanuel Macron this morning, offering condolences.

"We remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame's bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil. Those bells will sound again," a White House spokesperson said.

The President tweeted his feelings immediately after the blaze began, saying the fire was difficult to watch.

He suggested using water tanker aircraft to put it out, but the authorities said this would damage the building's structure.

Meanwhile sales for Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame are soaring in France. The book jumped to first place on the bestseller list of Amazon after the fire in the Cathedral.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Katie Fitzgerald