In the wake of the tragic fire that nearly destroyed famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, The Walt Disney Company announced yesterday that it will be making a $5 million donation to help with the ongoing restoration efforts.
Paris fire officials saved the city’s iconic Notre Dame de Paris cathedral from total destruction Monday after a massive fire engulfed the 865-year-old Catholic church. Both the roof of the cathedral and the wood-and-lead spire collapsed during the fire. French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to restore the cathedral, and since Monday’s fire, nearly $1 billion in U.S. dollars in aid has been pledged to help with those efforts, with Disney making a significant contribution to the rebuilding fund.
“Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries, inspiring awe and reverence for its art and architecture and for its enduring place in human history,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “The Walt Disney Company stands with our friends and neighbors in the community, offering our heartfelt support as well as a $5 million donation for the restoration of this irreplaceable masterpiece.”
Disney’s filmography and Notre Dame are intertwined thanks to the 1996 release of the studio’s animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” based on Victor Hugo’s famous novel of the same name. The movie was released during the height of the Disney Renaissance and became a popular hit for the studio, grossing over $300 million worldwide. Images of the film’s main character, Quasimodo (voiced in the film by Tom Hulce), have appeared all over social media as Disney fans used the animated film to pay tribute to Notre Dame during the fire and after it was put out.
Disneyland Paris, originally dubbed “Euro Disney Resort”, is located in Marne-la-Vallée, France, a new town located 32 km (20 mi) east of the center of Paris. The property encompasses two theme parks, many resort hotels, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, and a golf course, in addition to several additional recreational and entertainment venues. Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the complex, having just celebrated it’s 27th year there. This is a gracious and smart move by Disney to help with the efforts and also establish more goodwill with their French fans and customers.
— CNA (@ChannelNewsAsia) April 16, 2019
Couronne d’épines, tunique de Saint-Louis, rosaces… Les trésors de Notre-Dame sauvés des flammes pic.twitter.com/aaVYXBPJKa
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) April 16, 2019
As of today, the AP reports that nearly $1 billion has been pledged to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, The Associated Press reported. Journalist Stéphane Bern told French news outlets €880 million, (or $995 million in U.S. funds) have been raised so far and the French government is creating an office just to deal with big money donations.