Notre Dame fund hits 1 billion euros just two days after the fire
Much of the structure and interior of the Notre Dame cathedral survived the flames that engulfed the building earlier this week, but there was still some devastating losses to the architecture, including the collapse of the roof and the spire.
The 800-year-old building manage to maintain its structure despite the shocking blaze, and now there are plans to recreate the artistic feat of architecture.
This is the moment that the Notre Dame spire collapsed:
"We'll rebuild this cathedral all together and it's undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we'll have for the coming years," French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this week, announcing an international fundraising scheme to rectify the "terrible tragedy".
After the scheme was launched, many started to donate - including some of the wealthiest people in the world. Bernard Arnault, France's richest man, pledged €200 million ($226 million) towards the restoration project, along with L'Oreal. Meanwhile, Francois-Henri Pinault pledged €100 million, matched by oil company Total.
Other donors include investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere and construction magnates Martin and Olivier Bouygues, who all donated €10 million. Credit Agricole bank sent in €5 million, US private equity investor Henry Kravis promised €9 million.
Now, it has been reported that the entire scheme has already reached €1 billion - which may keep the project on track to meet Macrons' five-year goal.
"We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it," Macron said in a television address to the nation. "It is up to us to change this disaster into an opportunity to come together, having deeply reflected on what we have been and what we have to be and become better than we are."
"It is up to us to find the thread of our national project,' he added, warning that the country should "not fall into the trap of haste," but instead focus on what the tragedy brought out in Parisians. "What we saw last night in Paris was our capacity to mobilise and to unite," he said.
It was Presidential cultural heritage envoy and journalist Stéphane Bern who reported that the billion-mark had been reached, speaking to broadcaster France-Info on Wednesday on the large sum of money that had been raised in the day in a half since the fire - according to ABC.
"The billion-euro mark of donations was reached during the day," Bern, who helped to launch the appeal, said.
In terms of the restoration itself - the reconstruction of the cathedral may draw from some unusual sources, including the 2014 video game Assassin's Creed: Unity.
The game featured a meticulously-detailed rendition of the cathedral, matching to the year of 1789. Using these 3-D maps, as well as laser scans taken by historians a few years ago, it may be possible to match the new building closely to the original design.