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Victor Hugo would be appalled to see the ravages inflicted by time, pollution and weather on his beloved Notre Dame, the soaring cathedral that adorns the heart of Paris.With its twin towers, stained-glass windows, gargoyles and flying buttresses – a colossal achievement that took more than a century to complete – the cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site that draws between 12 million and 14 million visitors each year.The central lead-clad wooden spire, which rises 93 meters above the cathedral roof and weighs 250 tons, is also in need of costly restoration.Paris is sounding the alarm, seeking donations notably from U.S. patrons to help pay for the work, pledging to match up to 4 million euros donated to a heritage fund.
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