LVMH, Kering and L'Oréal owners pledge to help rebuild Notre-Dame after fire
today Apr 16, 2019
Pledges to donate millions of euros in cash and materials poured in Tuesday in the aftermath of a massive fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which firefighters were still fighting to extinguish more than 12 hours after it started.
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the emblematic church will be rebuilt after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a blaze thought to be linked to extensive renovation work.
French billionaire Bernard Arnault announced Tuesday that he and the LVMH luxury conglomerate he controls would give 200 million euros ($226 million) for the reconstruction efforts.
“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, of its heritage and of French unity,” the group said in a statement.
The pledge came after Arnault's crosstown rival Kering, the fashion group founded by fellow billionaire Francois Pinault, offered 100 million euros to help "completely rebuild Notre-Dame".
The L'Oreal cosmetics group and its founding Bettencourt family offered 200 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.
In total, around 700 million euros has been pledged from French billionaires, businesses and the public sector for the painstaking renovation work that is likely to take years, if not decades, though experts breathed sighs of relief that the damage was not even worse.
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