Pledges from French billionaires, businesses and the public sector to help rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral reached some 700 million euros (790 million dollars) yesterday amid an outpouring of public support for one of Europe’s most iconic monuments.
French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the mediaeval monument will be restored after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a spectacular blaze thought to be linked to extensive renovation work. The French Council of the Muslim Faith also called on French Muslims to help save “an architectural masterpiece that is the honour of our country”.
French luxury group Kering, whose brands include Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, kicked off the campaign late Monday with a promise of 100 million euros ($113 million). It was followed yesterday by a 200-million-euro pledge from Kering’s rival luxury conglomerate LVMH and the family of its founder Bernard Arnault, France’s richest person.
The L’Oreal cosmetics group and its founding Bettencourt family offered 200 million euros, while French oil giant Total said it would contribute 100 million euros. Several other business executives and blue-chip French firms also said they would contribute, some announcing pledges of five, 10 or 20 million euros.