News by Maddy Coffey
Francois-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault have pledged a combined €300m to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Restoration.
On April 15, a devastating fire destroyed the roof and spire of the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Considered one of the first examples of French Gothic architecture, the 850-year-old cathedral is one of France’s most famous and beloved landmarks, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each day.
Soon after the blaze, French President Emmanuel Macron announced an international fundraising campaign to raise money to rebuild the historic landmark, pledging full reconstruction to be completed within five years.
Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO and chairman of Kering, the international luxury goods company, donated €100m to the fund. Bernard Arnault, CEO and chairman of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, pledged €200m.
Pinault announced that he will pay through his family’s investment firm, Artemis, and hopes the funds will help church officials “completely rebuild Notre-Dame.”
Similarly, Arnault said in a statement, “The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at this time of national tragedy and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, its heritage and of French unity.”
The fire services managed to save the landmark’s bell towers and structure of the building, but the roof was “ravaged”, with roughly two thirds having been destroyed, according to fire-service commander Jean-Claude Galler’s report on the night of the fire.
According to Laurent Nunez, deputy minister of the cathedral’s interior, a meeting of experts and national architects took place the morning after to consider whether the building was stable, and plans could be put into action.