French billionaire François-Henri Pinault announced Monday night that he and his family will donate 100 million euros to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral just hours after a fire tore through the medieval structure, collapsing its spire and causing significant damage, BuzzFeed News reports.
“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.
Pinault is the chair and CEO of the international luxury group Kering, which includes Gucci and Saint Laurent. He’s also the president of the French holding company Groupe Artémis.
— Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
The pledge comes after French president Emmanuel Macron announced the launch of a national fundraising campaign designed to raise the funds necessary for the restoration.
“We will rebuild,” Macron said. “We will rebuild Notre Dame because this is what the French expect, because this is what our history deserves, because it is our destiny.”
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2019
Speaking to reporters, a French firefighter official said that the main structure of the cathedral has been saved along with the two iconic main towers.
A video showing Parisians kneeling and singing “Ave Maria” outside the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris went viral on Monday, as the world mourns the loss of the historic, centuries-old landmark.
Ave Maria pic.twitter.com/lb6Y5XV05a
— Ignacio Gil (@Inaki_Gil) April 15, 2019
EARLIER: Parisians sang in the streets near the Notre-Dame cathedral as firefighters battled the fire pic.twitter.com/Y6bhimBIvx
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) April 16, 2019