Notre-Dame de Paris: approved in principle, the interior design programme must now find funding

Launched immediately after the 2019 fire, the work to make safe and consolidate the cathedral is now complete. The achievement of this first phase, the updated cost of which amounts to €151 million, paves the way for the restoration work to begin in the first half of 2022.

Six projects to be financed by the cathedral

The rebirth of Notre-Dame is a huge project which does not end at its walls. A vast programme of interior arrangements will return the cathedral to the faithful, visitors and tourists, and offer them a new tour around the building.

This programme is entirely the responsibility of the cathedral, since it is not covered by the national fundraising. It was approved in principle, subject to a few adaptations, on 9 December, by the National Heritage and Architecture Commission (CNPA).

Consideration of these arrangements began in June 2019 by a collective, the “Notre-Dame Workshop”, which brought together a variety of artists and specialists (scenographer, designer, museologist, architect, art historian), all French and internationally recognised.

The project revolves around a renewed liturgical path, centred on the altar, from the baptistery to the tabernacle, and a redesigned route to improve the reception of the 30,000 or so visitors who flock there every day, i.e. 12 million per year (2,500 services and 150 concerts).

Here are the six projects that will be gradually implemented until the full reopening of the cathedral:

  • the upgrade of the choir organ. Funding for this upgrade has just been raised thanks to the efforts of two foundations (Friends of Notre Dame de Paris and Le Chemin du Samaritain, a foundation under the aegis of the Notre Dame Foundation);

The five projects still to be financed require fundraising of €6 million from the public. €1.3 million has already been found, which leaves €4.7 million to be collected by June 2024 for:

Launched on June 15, 2021, for the anniversary of the Consecration of the cathedral, the new public call for donations will be divided into sets of two to three projects presented every year to French and foreign donors [1].

A special, place dedicated to benefactors and firefighters, will be set up in the cathedral to commemorate the event [2]. Its design, scenography and implementation are also the cathedral’s responsibility.

[1] More than 3,000 have already made a donation online and receive news from the worksite in English or Spanish every quarter. In addition, Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, an American foundation created on the initiative of the Archdiocese of Paris, is supporting this campaign.

[2] Although its precise location has not yet been decided, everyone agrees in recognising its importance.

  1. Visitors will enter the cathedral through the central portal ; this way, they immediately be struck by the powerful elevation and orientation of the great aisle.
  2. The liturgical path will lead them from the baptistery to the altar, then to the Cross and tabernacle.
  3. A second choir organ will be built directly opposite the current one (extension).
About the fundraising
Securing and restoring the building (first part of the fundraising)
As of 15 December 2021, the Notre-Dame Foundation has raised €92 million in donations. Donation commitments to be received amount to €262.6 million, totalling €354 million. These donations come from 70,400 individuals, companies and French and foreign public authorities. They are strictly intended to finance the conservation and restoration of the cathedral.
Interior design programme (second part of the fundraising)
Since 1 January 2021, €1.3 million have been collected for the interior design programme, thanks to 4,000 individuals, companies and patrons (SMEs, etc.).

Notre Dame Foundation press contact : François Pasi (for the General Delegate) – –

Download the press release of the Notre Dame Foundation

© Photos Yannick Boschat, Diocèse de Paris – Jaime Castellanos, Notre-Dame de Paris