FRENCH BILLIONAIRES DONATE MILLIONS OF EUROS TO RE-BUILD NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL

Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow-brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

After the disastrous and disheartening collapse of Notre Dame’s Cathedral in Paris due to the much-talked-about accidental fire, chair and CEO of French luxury group Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, vowed to donate 100 million euros to rebuild the cathedral. Kering owns brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, among others. Bernard Arnault, the chair of LVMH, then doubled that donation to 200 million euros on Tuesday morning.

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, includes brands Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. Oil producer Total SA, France’s biggest company by sales, will contribute 100 million euros to the private non-profit Fondation du Patrimoine for the project, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said. Construction company Vinci SA, the Duval family that owns property developer Groupe Duval, and banks BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA also said they would give.

The Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L’Oreal, matched the 200 million LVMH vowed to give, while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million). Combined with other donations from companies including French bank Crédit Agricole, the total amount pledged by business and wealthy donors has reached $700 million.

“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,” said the statement released by LVMH group on Instagram.

   
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