France's richest man pledges millions to repair Notre Dame | Daily News

France's richest man pledges millions to repair Notre Dame

French billionaire François-Henri Pinault said Monday night he and his family will donate 100 million euros to help reconstruct the Notre Dame Cathedral, hours after a catastrophic fire tore through the historic structure, collapsing its spire and causing significant damage.

"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," Pinault wrote in a statement.

François-Henri Pinault is the chair and CEO of the international luxury group Kering, which includes Gucci and Saint Laurent, and president of the French holding company Groupe Artémis, which owns the fine arts auction house Christie's.

French President Emmanuel Macron said late Monday that he planned to launch a national fundraising campaign to rebuild the centuries-old cathedral.

"We will rebuild," Macron told reporters. "We will rebuild Notre Dame because this is what the French expect, because this is what our history deserves, because it is our destiny."

In its more than 800-year history, Notre Dame has undergone extensive and costly restorations to repair and restore one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

When the fire broke out, the spire was being restored as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation to repair water damage to the wooden structure.

In recent years, cathedral officials have sought private funding to buttress the funds the French state dedicates to its upkeep through the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris foundation.


 

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