Billionaires Pledge Millions in Euros to Rebuild Notre Dame

The fire-ravaged cathedral is already getting sizable funding.
Tuesday 16 April 2019
They're determined to help with the 'complete reconstruction' of Notre Dame. Source: iStock

Mexican and American film actress Salma Hayek’s husband François-Henri Pinault, who is the current CEO of Kering, has pledged US$113 million (€99 million) to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was earlier devastated by a massive fire. Paris-based Kering is an international luxury group which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Bottega Veneta.

In a statement obtained by French newspaper Le Figaro, 56-year-old Pinault said, “My father (François Pinault) and myself have decided to release a sum of €100 million from our Artemis funds (the family holding company) to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame.”

His donation, the first major one announced, follows French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech on Monday night in which he said the cathedral would be rebuilt. “We will rebuild Notre-Dame together,” an emotional French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday evening as he visited the famed Paris cathedral which was partly ravaged by fire.

The 41-year-old president described the 850-year-old monument at the heart of Paris as “the epicentre of our life” and the cathedral of “all the French”, whether religious or not. Macron vowed to draw on “the best talent” to rebuild what had been destroyed and said that starting tomorrow, he would launch an international appeal for the restoration of the beloved church.

Meanwhile, French billionaire Bernard Arnault, who controls the sprawling LVMH luxury conglomerate, said that his family and the company would contribute a combined €200 million to help rebuild Notre Dame. “The Arnault family and LVMH, in solidarity after this national tragedy, will participate in the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, a symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” they said in a statement.

Sources: AFP, People

Related: Thousands Watched in Tears as Fire Ravaged This Parisian Landmark