A massive blaze devastated Paris’s 850-year old Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the country’s most historical structures and home to a number of prominent artifacts and relics on Monday afternoon, causing parts of the building to collapse. Shortly after, several French tycoons stepped up to make financial contributions to help rebuild Notre Dame.
French magnate and chief executive officer of LVMH Bernard Arnault announced early Tuesday morning that he’ll be donating over $200 million. “The Arnault family and the LVMH Group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are committed to assist with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” the brand said in a press release. “They will donate a total sum of 200 million euros to the fund dedicated to the reconstruction of this architectural work, which is a core part of the French History.”
The LVMH Group, the world’s largest luxury goods empire, includes Celine, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and more. In addition to Arnault’s donation, François-Henri Pinault, husband of actress Salma Hayek and CEO of Kering, also announced that he’d be contributing over $100 million.
“My father François Pinault and I have decided to unblock 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,” Pinault said in a statement obtained by French outlet Le Figaro. Kering, another leader in the luxury goods world, houses luxury brands Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen.
Several outlets have reported that the main structure of the building has been “saved” and French president Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the famous landmark in a statement to Reuters.
“Notre-Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people. But tonight, I’d like to speak of hope too,” he said. “Let’s be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we’ve built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”