Billionaires François-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault want to help restore the UNESCO world heritage structure.
Within hours after the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire on Monday causing massive damage, two French billionaires pledged to donate 300 million euros together to help rebuild it. The blaze broke out at around 7 pm local time, and the preliminary investigation indicates it was an accident.
Billionaire François-Henri Pinault, along with his father, was the first to provide 100 million euros to help reconstruct the gutted historic structure.
The businessman, who is Mexican-American Hollywood star Salma Hayek’s spouse, is the president of Groupe Artémis that owns auction house Christie's. Pinault stated on Twitter: “My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artemis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame.”
Pinault owns the French luxury group Kering, based in Paris. It owns luxe brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, to name a few.
After learning about Pinault’s contribution, multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault also promised to contribute 200 million euros towards the restoration of Notre Dame.
Arnault, France’s richest man, is the head of LVMH luxury goods group and chair of luxury brands like Moët & Chandon and Dior.
LVMH Twitter handle posted on Monday: “In the wake of this national tragedy, the Arnault family and the LVMH Group pledge their support for #NotreDame. They will donate a total of 200 million euros to the fund for reconstruction of this architectural work, which is an integral part of the history of France.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has also announced he would unveil a national fundraising campaign to help restore the UNESCO world heritage structure.Additionally, France's Heritage Foundation has started a “national collection” on its website as well.