Nearly $1bn raised to rebuild Notre Dame cathedral
Just two days after the historic landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France was ravaged by a fire, a combined total of $902m (€800m, £692m) has been raised to rebuild the Unesco World Heritage site.
Half of the funds raised comes from French billionaires — both François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering, which owns Gucci and the Bettencourt family, which founded French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, both pledged €100m, while Bernard Arnault’s family and their luxury goods company LVMH pledged €200m.
READ MORE: How to donate to the Notre Dame fundraising appeal to rebuild cathedral after fire
The remainder has come from a raft of donation pages and individual pledges from world leaders.
AT 6.43pm local time on Monday, a blaze was discovered at Notre Dame cathedral. It took 15 hours to distinguish the fire. An independent non-profit heritage group, the Fondation du Patrimoine, said it is still too early to estimate the cost of the damage.
However, the fire has destroyed most of the cathedral’s roof, which led to the collapse of its iconic spire.
The cathedral also contained a number of invaluable historic artifacts, including a tunic King Louis IX is said to have worn when he brought the crown to Paris as well as a crown of thorns which the church claims was worn by Jesus before his crucifixion.
Culture Minister Franck Riester confirmed that a number of artwork and religious items, including the tunic and crown, were rescued and would be sent to the Louvre museum to be kept and restored. Any salvageable paintings would also be removed by Friday and sent to the museum, he added.