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French billionaire pledges €100 million to rebuild Notre Dame

The Hill logo The Hill 4 days ago Michael Burke
a large building with smoke coming out of it: French billionaire pledges €100 million to rebuild Notre Dame © Getty images French billionaire pledges €100 million to rebuild Notre Dame

A French billionaire has pledged to donate 100 million euros to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after the historic building was engulfed in a fire Monday.

François-Henri Pinault, who owns the French luxury group Kering, made the pledge to AFP. Kering owns luxury fashion brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent.

"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 said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed News.

Monday's massive blaze destroyed much of the cathedral, including its spire and stained-glass windows.

After originally believing that the fire would destroy the entire building, authorities later said that the cathedral had been saved from "total destruction" and that the structure's iconic bell towers were intact.

Police told CNN on Monday evening that the fire was under control.

Authorities were also able to save some pieces of art from the cathedral, including key relics such as the crown of thorns and the tunic of St. Louis.

A number of world leaders and prominent figures expressed sadness over the damage to Notre Dame.

"Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation," French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. "Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight."

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