Matt Damon is the latest celebrity to back a campaign to stop a New York church in need of major repairs from being demolished.
The Hollywood actor will be part of an upcoming performance which serves as a fundraiser for a performing arts centre that rents West Park Presbyterian Church.
Tickets for the “This Is Our Youth” shows start at just over £409 ($500), in hopes that West Park can raise enough money to fix up the building. According to The New York Times, the aim is to rake in more than £245,000 ($300,000) from the performances. It would support a new £1.6m ($2m) campaign which a report from an engineering consultant claimed would be enough to fix the church.
However, the efforts, which also have the backing of actors Mark Ruffalo and comedian Amy Schumer, go totally against the wishes of West Park Presbyterian Church. The church has insisted that the building be knocked down.The New York Times reports that the church rejected the notion that $2m would be enough for repairs needed to ensure the church meets fire safety and accessibility rules. A spokeswoman described the campaign as “a Band-Aid solution”.
The church has also deemed offers to buy the building not feasible and unrealistic “given the cost of repairs".