Paris: The Notre-Dame Cathedral will host its first mass on Saturday, exactly two months after the devastating blaze that caused its famous spire to collapse.
The Archdiocese of Paris told CNN that access to the event will be extremely limited due to safety concerns with just 20 to 30 people expected to attend the mass.
As of June 12, the Notre Dame Foundation had received donations of EUR15.7 million ($17.7 million, and an additional EUR377 million ($425 million has been pledged by donors.
Most of these funds are to be used to restore the 850-year-old French gothic architecture, although some will be used to receive pilgrims, repair damaged goods and organise religious music at the site, according to the Archdiocese.
The mass will be led by Michel Aupetit, the Archbishop of Paris, who said in a statement, “May all those who have mobilized since April 15 and all those who continue to work every day for Notre Dame, be they donors, architects, construction workers, political leaders, be warmly thanked for their efforts.”
On the night of April 15, the bells in the famous spire of the Cathedral had not yet rung by the time of the first fire alarm, at 6:21 pm, but five minutes later.
Nearly two-thirds of the roof of the Cathedral was severely damaged by the devastating fire.
The Cathedral, whose construction began in 1160 and continued over a century, has been a World Heritage Site since 1991 and receives around 13 million visitors every year.