French Billionaires Pledge to Help Notre Dame, Raises $680m

In the evening of April 15, 2019, a massive fire engulfed the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Following the untimely downfall of the celebrated structure, French billionaires pledged to donate millions to help restore the edifice back to its former glory.

According to Forbes, the leading billionaires of the country was able to raise $670m (equivalent to 600 million euros) to help bring back the original façade and grandeur of the church. The President of the country, President Emmanuel Macron, called for back-ups and financial aid in support of a fun-raising campaign geared towards restoration, notes Fortune.

As an answer to President Macron’s call, Francois-Henri Pinault, working as the chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, the parent company of Gucci, announced that together with his father, they would be donating a total of $113m (100 million euros). This amount would be coming from Artemis, their investment company, reports Forbes.

Meanwhile, the archrival of the Kering, Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH) pledged double the amount Kering has donated. Spearheaded by the equally rich Arnault family, the company promised to provide 226 million (200 million euros) to build the iconic French structure.

In addition to sending financial aid, Forbes reports that the Arnault family also offered to provide architectural and design resources courtesy of the LVMH group.

Other companies and notable institutions which have come forward in light of President Macrons’s call include L’Oreal SA and the Bettencourt Meyers family as its principal shareholders. The group has promised to give $113m (100 million euros). The charity foundation of the same brand will also be giving another 100 million euros, states Fortune.

While the total cost of the repair has yet to be determined, many companies and private entities have come forward to save the structure.