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Australian PM Rejects Suggestion to Create Govt Fund to Rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

Australian PM Rejects Suggestion to Create Govt Fund to Rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed a suggestion by former PM Malcolm Turnbull that the government should set a charitable fund for people who wanted to donate to Notre Dame restoration efforts.

Melbourne: The Australian government on Tuesday rejected the idea of setting up a charitable fund for those who want to help rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after a devastating fire raged through the iconic 12th century church.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said "It's a pretty special place and to see it in flames today was just really sad. Paris is an eternal city and it will rebuild and it will restore."

However, he dismissed a suggestion by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that the government should set a charitable fund for people who wanted to donate to Notre Dame restoration efforts.

"I'm sure that President Macron is able to deal with this as is the Catholic Church and, if individual Australians want to do something, well, it's a free country - they can do whatever they like," he said here, adding "We're not making a government fund."

Turnbull had said there was precedent for establishing a charitable fund, along with a possible direct government contribution.

The inferno destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed as orange flames and clouds of grey smoke billowed into the sky.

Pledges to donate millions of euros in cash and materials poured in Tuesday in the aftermath of the massive fire.