In the aftermath of a massive fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault and his family have pledged 100 million euros (roughly $113 million) to help rebuild the iconic monument.
"My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now 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," Pinault wrote in a statement.
Read his words in French here:
"Mon père (François Pinault) et moi même avons décidé de débloquer dès à présent sur les fonds d'Artemis une somme de 100 millions d'euros pour participer à l'effort qui sera nécessaire à la reconstruction complète de Notre Dame", écrit François-Henri Pinault- William Plummer (@PlummerWilliam) April 15, 2019
Pinault is a noted art collector and the chairman and CEO of the luxury group Kering, which owns fashion brands including Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci. To some, he is also known as Salma Hayek's husband.
His generous donation is just one of many fundraising efforts making the news this evening.
When speaking with the media, French president Emanuel Macron said he will launch a fundraising campaign tomorrow. "We will rebuild this Cathedral together," he said.
Those in the United States have also rallied around the monument. The French Heritage Society, an American non-profit dedicated to the "preservation, restoration and promotion" of the French heritage in the U.S. and France has also started a fund raising money for Notre Dame's restoration.
"Notre-Dame is obviously an architectural marvel and most certainly a monument that should be restored," the group's executive director Jennifer Herlein, told Reuters on the phone on Monday. She said all funds raised will be donated to the effort.
The fire broke out at 7 p.m. local time, just as the Cathedral was closing to visitors. It is thought to have been started accidentally, though the official cause is still unclear. At this point, the fire is finally cooling and officials have said that "both towers of the cathedral are safe."
As Macron put it, "The worst was avoided even if the battle has not been completely won."
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