After yesterday’s devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron put out a plea for donations to rebuild the ancient cathedral.
France’s wealthiest citizens didn’t hesitate.
First, Salma Hayek’s husband, billionaire François-Henri Pinault, pledged 100 million euros to the project. Then, France’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, doubled that pledge with a donation of 200 million euros.
“We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more beautiful,” President Macron said in a televised national address on Tuesday, according to ABC News.
Other corporations and investors have pledged money, too, along with the French government.
The total currently stands at $339 million and counting.
Total repair costs for the fire aren’t yet known, but the money will certainly be put to good use.
“We’ll need hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild, maybe more, because 2,800 square meters of roof has burned and also… the big tower of the cathedral has burned too, so we really need to rebuild and it’s going to be very costly,” explained Valérie Pécresse, the president of the Île-de-France region that includes Paris.
Yesterday, a devastating fire threatened to destroy the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The historic cathedral is hundreds of years old.
Hundreds of firefighters were deployed to fight the flames, but by the time the fire was under control, the central spire of the church was gone. The majority of the 13th-century oak roof was also destroyed, and much of the interior suffered damage.
Thankfully, no people were killed, and many of the church’s most precious historic contents were saved, including a priceless relic of the crown of thorns, major art pieces, and the church’s iconic bell towers. The church’s gorgeous rose windows are also in good condition.
Nonetheless, French citizens are heartbroken by the damage to this cultural monument, not to mention the many worldwide visitors who’ve been lucky enough to bear witness to Notre Dame — one of the most beautiful churches in the world. The cathedral hosts over 13 million visitors each year.
First, Salma Hayek’s billionaire husband, François-Henri Pinault, pledged 100 million euros to rebuild the cathedral. That’s about $113 million, explains PopSugar.
François is the chairman and CEO of Kering, the luxury brand that owns Gucci, Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent.