A firefighter makes his way on a balcony of the Notre Dame cathedral. Photo: Francois Mori/AP

PARIS – The International Olympic Committee on Thursday pledged €500 000 (about R7.91 million) to help ensure Notre Dame is restored in time for the 2024 Paris Games.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach told 2024 Games chief Thomas Estanguet in a letter.

“All the Olympic movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” he wrote.

Estanguet said the Olympic family “wanted to show its solidarity with Parisians and all French people”.

The IOC’s contribution joins donations totalling €850 million (about R13.44 billion) made since the landmark was gutted by fire on Monday evening.

Notre Dame figures on the route for the 2024 Olympic marathon and on the road cycling circuit.

AFP