French President Emmanuel Macron committed on Monday to rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral within five years after the Paris landmark was partially gutted in a devastating fire.
“We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautiful and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it,” Macron said in a television address to the nation.
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Describing Notre Dame as “the epicenter of our life,” Macron had earlier announced that a fundraising campaign would begin Tuesday and called on the world’s “greatest talents” to help rebuild the cathedral.
French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, immediately pledged €100 million ($113 million) towards “the effort necessary to completely rebuild Notre Dame.”
The CEO of the Kering group, which owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses, said the money would be paid by the Pinault family’s investment firm, Artemis.
Later on Tuesday, a second French billionaire, Bernard Arnault of Christian Dior SE and the sprawling luxury goods empire LVMH, promised €200 million ($226 million) to the reconstruction efforts. That was followed by a €100-million pledge from French oil company Total.