French billionaire Pinault pledges 100 mln euros to help rebuild Notre-Dame

Francois-Henri Pinault pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) towards the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. (File photo: AFP)

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) on Monday towards the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was partly gutted by a devastating fire.

In a statement sent to AFP the CEO of the Kering group, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses, said the money towards “the effort necessary to completely rebuild Notre-Dame” would be paid by the Pinault family’s investment firm Artemis.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, a searing loss for the city and for France.

Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.

The country’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday: “What happened tonight in Paris and at Notre-Dame Cathedral is a terrible tragedy.”

“The worst was avoided even if the battle has not been completely won yet and the next few hours will be difficult.”

The 41-year-old president described the 850-year-old monument at the heart of Paris as “the epicenter of our life” and the cathedral of “all the French”, whether religious or not.

He said that “starting tomorrow” he would launch an international appeal for the restoration of the beloved church.

“And we will rebuild Notre-Dame because it is what the French expect,” he said, flanked by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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