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French billionaires pledge big donations to rebuild fire-ravaged Notre Dame

Some of Frances richest families have promised to help restore the Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire destroyed much of the historic Paris landmark.

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault said Monday night he and his family (including his wife, actress Salma Hayek) will donate €100 million (US$113mn) to the cathedrals reconstruction.

“This tragedy strikes all the French and beyond all those who are attached to the spiritual values,” he tweeted. “Faced with such a tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage.”

"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

Pinault is chair and CEO of the international luxury group Kering, which includes Gucci and Saint Laurent. He is also president of holding company Groupe Artemis, which owns the fine arts auction house Christies.

“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,” he said.

Pinaults donation was doubled on Tuesday morning by Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury goods group LVMH, whose brands include Moët & Chandon and Dior.

“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,” a statement posted on the LVMH Twitter account read.

French President Emmanuel Macron said late Monday he plans to launch a national fundraising campaign to rebuild the 800-year-old cathedral.

"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." pic.twitter.com/utvJT8xJht

— LVMH (@LVMH) April 16, 2019

Valerie Pecresse, the leader of Frances Ile-de-France region, said the region would release €10 million of “emergency aid to help the archbishop to make the first work” of reconstruction.

The French Heritage Society, an American non-profit dedicated to the “preservation, restoration and promotion” of French heritage in the US and France, has also launched a fund for Notre Dames restoration. Its exeRead More

RT

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