French billionaire François-Henri Pinault and his family said on Monday evening that they will donate €100m (£86.3m, $113m) to rebuild the historic landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, after it was ravaged by a fire yesterday.
Soon after, French billionaire Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH (MC.PA) pledged €200m towards the reconstruction.
Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, said “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.”
"Mon père (François Pinault) et moi même avons décidé de débloquer dès à présent sur les fonds d'Artemis une somme de 100 millions d'euros pour participer à l'effort qui sera nécessaire à la reconstruction complète de Notre Dame", écrit François-Henri Pinault
— William Plummer (@PlummerWilliam) April 15, 2019
Yesterday, a fire broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral, gutting the landmark which has a 800-year history and has undergone extensive and expensive repairs and restorations.
François-Henri Pinault is one of the richest people in Europe, thanks to his family’s fashion empire. He is the chairman and CEO of the international luxury group Kering (KER.PA), which owns the Gucci brand. He is also president of the French holding company Groupe Artémis, which owns the fine arts auction house Christie’s. Combined with his wife’s — actress Salma Hayek — wealth, they are worth £5.126bn ($6.71bn), according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Bernard Arnault is worth over $91.7bn, according to Forbes.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said late Monday in a tweet that “Notre Dame of Paris in flames. Emotion for a whole nation. Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
He added that he plans to launch a national fundraising campaign to rebuild the cathedral.
According to Bloomberg, Total (FP.PA), a major French oil and gas company, on Tuesday pledged a further €100m ($113m) for Notre Dame’s reconstruction. Tech and consulting firm Capgemini has also promised €1m ($1.1m).