Disney pledges $5-M for Notre Dame reconstruction

Kyodo News

Posted at Apr 20 2019 07:41 AM

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims is lighten on April 16, 2019 with a message reading in French "Reims watches over Notre-Dame" a day after the fire that ripped through Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK - Walt Disney Co. has committed $5 million in funding toward the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a fire earlier this week left the historic landmark with extensive damage.

"Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries," Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger was quoted in a statement Wednesday announcing the donation.

The 12th-century Gothic church is depicted in the 1996 Disney animated musical "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame," loosely based on the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo.

At the time of publication, Hugo's novel prompted major restoration work on the cathedral, which had survived the turbulence of the 18th-century French Revolution and was the site of Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation in 1804.

The fire that broke out Monday afternoon burned the roof of the cathedral and caused its 90-meter spire to topple. Corporate and private donors have stepped up to offer funds toward repairing the World Heritage structure, with French President Emmanuel Macron vowing the job would be complete within five years.