Monaco is “mobilizing” as a community to assist in the repair of Notre Dame — “the emblematic heart” of Paris.
In a letter sent to French President Macron — and shared exclusively with PEOPLE — Prince Albert II has praised the firefighters in Paris and pledged the principality’s considerable financial resources towards rebuilding of the historic cathedral.
“Deeply saddened by the terrible fire that ravaged Notre-Dame de Paris, the emblematic heart of the capital, on behalf of all Monegasques, my family and in my own name, I offer an expression of our support and our solidarity,” the 61-year old prince wrote.
The ruler of the devout Roman-Catholic city-state went on to say that his thoughts were also with “the corps of firefighters for their determined and courageous action in the fight against the blaze that destroyed a medieval Gothic treasure and the architecture, paintings and sculptures that bear witness to 850 years of history.”
“I also address deeply emotional feelings to the people France so affected by the disaster suffered by this cathedral, this place of worship and prayer but also cultural landmark and symbol of history of France,” he wrote.
“Our community is mobilizing to make a financial contribution to the projected renovations
meant to revive the splendor of this world heritage whose spiritual, cultural and artistic influence will continue.”
A city-state without taxes and with only 36,000 citizens, Monaco contains the highest density of billionaires in the world, according to Forbes.
As of Wednesday morning, nearly $995 million had been raised for what is sure to be a massive rebuilding project, Presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern told broadcaster France-Info.
Much of that money is coming from some wealthy French citizens, including Salma Hayek’s husband François-Henri Pinault, who heads Kering SA, the fashion company behind Gucci and Alexander McQueen among other luxury designers. Pinault pledged a donation of €100 million ($113 million).