UK Guardian: The bestselling British author Ken Follett is donating the proceeds from his book about the Notre-Dame fire to restore a cathedral in Brittany.

Follet is giving €148,000 (£127,000) towards a multimillion euro project to save Saint-Samson de Dol-de-Bretagne cathedral.

The sum is what he has made from his book Notre-Dame: a Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals, written after the Paris monument was ravaged by fire in April 2019, which has sold 113,000 copies worldwide.

The money is being given to the French Fondation du patrimoine (Patrimony Foundation) and will be put towards the €2.4m cost of restoring the Brittany cathedral, a Gothic monument listed since 1840, but in a parlous state of repair.

“I didn’t want to profit from the [Notre-Dame] fire,” French media quoted Follett saying after the donation was revealed. “Also, these ancient buildings have given me enormous pleasure over the years. They inspired me to write Pillars of the Earth, my most-read book.”

Saint-Samson de Dol-de-Bretagne, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department east of Saint-Malo, was constructed in honour of Saint Samson, a bishop monk from Cardiff in Wales who arrived in the area in 548 and built a monastery. Dol became the religious capital of Brittany and a cathedral was built, only to be destroyed in 1014 by Vikings, after which another cathedral was built on the site. In 1203, the English King John, known in France as Jean sans Terre (John with no land) set fire to the Dol cathedral but, fearing for his soul, then agreed to finance its reconstruction. After the revolution, it became a “Temple of Reason” then stables and a warehouse. It is undergoing a major renovation expected to be completed in 2024.  read more..


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