Following the devastating fire that ravaged Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed his city, offering hope. “Notre Dame is our history, it's our literature, it's our imagery,” he said during a televised conference Monday night. “It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations ... I'm telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny.” And two major French luxury conglomerates will help.
On Monday night, once the fire was finally extinguished, François-Henri Pinault , the owner of the luxury conglomerate Kering — which includes Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen — announced his 100 million euro, or about $151 million, pledge to help restore the historic church. “This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” Pinault (husband to actress Salma Hayek) said in a statement. “Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible.” Pinault is also the president of Groupe Artémis, which owns the fine art auction house Christie's.
Not to be outdone, Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, who leads his country's biggest luxury fashion conglomerate, LVMH —home to Celine, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Givenchy — pledged 200 million euro, or about $301 million. “The LVMH Group puts at the disposal of the state and the relevant authorities all of its teams — including creative, architectural and financial specialists — to help with the long work of reconstruction and fund-raising, which is already in progress,” they said.
Experts say it will take "take a minimum of 10 to 20 years" to restore the iconic 850-year-old building.