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Notre Dame: French Billionaires Pledge €300 Million To Rebuild Cathedral After Fire


Notre Dame: French Billionaires Pledge €300 Million To Rebuild Cathedral After Fire

Notre Dame: French Billionaires Pledge €300 Million To Rebuild Cathedral After Fire

Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene Arnault (left) and Francois-Henri Pinault with wife Salma Hayek (right)

Two of France’s billionaires have promised the sum of €300m to rebuild the monumental Notre Dame Cathedral which was Monday ravaged by fire.

France’s richest man Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH luxury goods group pledged €200m towards the restoration of the 850 year old Cathedral in Paris, doubling the earlier  donation by Salma Hayek’s business tycoon husband Francois-Henri Pinault. Pinault had on Monday- hours after the fire- pledged €100m towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral.

An international fundraising appeal has been launched to help rebuild the Notre Dame (Picture: EPA)

Statement released by the LVMH group reads reads:

‘The Arnault family and the LVMH group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are associated with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity.

‘In the meantime, the LVMH Group puts at the disposal of the state and the concerned authorities all its teams, creative, architectural, financial, to help the long work of reconstruction on the one hand, and of fundraising on the other hand.’

he first pictures inside the cathedral on Tuesday morning appear to show at least one of the rose stained-glass windows still intact (left), but debris is covering the floor.

The pledge from the two Billionaires came after an appeal was made by the French President Emmanuel Macron on rebuilding the cathedral, one of the most visited tourist centres in the world.

Meanwhile, France’s Fondation du Patrimoine, a private organisation which works to protect French heritage, said it would be starting an international appeal. It tweeted:

‘For our Lady to be reborn from her ashes we are launching an international appeal. All donations received will be paid in full to the restoration site.’

President Macron also said he would be looking ‘beyond our borders’ as the fundraising campaign got under way.

Notre Dame: French Billionaires Pledge €300 Million To Rebuild Cathedral After Fire

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, left, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, right, answer reporters after watching the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral(Photo by AP)

In an emotional speech on Monday night, he said:

‘I am solemnly telling you tonight: this cathedral will be rebuilt by all of us together.’ Describing Notre Dame as ‘our history’ and ‘the epicentre of our lives’, he added: ‘It’s probably part of France’s destiny and it will be our project for the years to come.’

Specialised craftsmen and rare materials are expected to be needed to restore the monument, which welcomes more than 13 million visitors each year – an average of more than 35,000 people a day.

The head of a French lumber company told FranceInfo radio that it was ready to offer the best oak beams available to rebuild the intricate lattice that supported the now-destroyed roof, known as the ‘Forest’.

‘The work will surely take years, decades even, but it will require thousands of cubic metres of wood. We’ll have to find the best specimens, with large diameters,’ Sylvain Charlois of the Charlois group in Murlin, central France, told the radio station.

Read Also: Spire of Paris’s 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral Collapses As Fire Guts Historic Building

Firefighters confirmed on Tuesday morning the blaze had totally been extinguished after battling the fire throughout the night.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately confirmed. The cathedral had been undergoing intense restoration work which the fire service said could be linked to the blaze.

French prosecutors said it was being treated as an ‘involuntary’ fire, indicating that foul play was ruled out for now. The fire is said to have started in the attic of the monument before spreading across the roof.

Moji is a Lawyer, online media aficionado, communications strategist, and entrepreneur in her early 30’s. Her zest and energy to succeed coupled with her very strong interpersonal skills has seen her build her blog from just a passionate hobby to a strong platform for social influence and brand. Today she has expanded to having her own company SMD Media. SMD Media consults for large corporates drawn especially from the Finance, Technology, Advertising and Media, Creative Arts sectors, where her brand has grown significant leverage and contacts. She is also the pioneer Chairperson of the Digital Media Practitioners of Nigeria-DMPN, an Association whose vision is to influence on a larger scale for a greater good to impact lives positively, ensure the standardisation and the continuous enthronement of ethical practises within the digital space . Moji is a lover of the Arts, Fashion and Entertainment with a strong plan to own her own shoe/bag line, record label, Movie production company among other things.

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