François-Henri Pinault, one of France’s wealthiest men, has donated around $159 million towards rebuilding Notre Dame.
Early yesterday morning (Monday night local time) heartbroken Parisians and tourists watched as the 850-year-old cathedral in the heart of Paris was engulfed in flames, destroying its iconic spire and collapsing its roof.
After the fire of the Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/vLCGyZfAsB
— Aesthetic Sharer ZHR (@CGdrawing) April 17, 2019
Pinault is chairman and CEO of Artemis, the holding company that controls the assets of the Pinault family which includes iconic brands such as PONANT, Gucci, Yves St Laurent and Balenciaga.
France’s wealthiest families have collectively donated almost one billion dollars to rebuild the cathedral, which was undergoing a multi-million Euro restoration project at the time of the fire.
“This tragedy strikes all the French and beyond all those who are attached to spiritual values. Faced with such a tragedy, everyone wants to revive this jewel of our heritage as quickly as possible,” Pinault said in a statement to French newspaper Le Figaro.
“My father and I have decided to release 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.”
Reports indicate repairing the iconic structure is expected to cost billions of Euros.