French Billionaires Pledge €600m To Assist In Rebuilding Notre-Dame Cathedral


LAGOS APRIL 17TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Two of France’s richest families pledged a total of €300 million on Tuesday to help rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral, ravaged by a catastrophic fire that destroyed its spire and most of the roof.
Members of the public were also donating money in response to appeals by France’s heritage foundation, the Fondation du Patrimoine and President Emmanuel Macron. Online donations were climbing rapidly on Tuesday. An AFP tally of donations announced so far reached €600 million by the afternoon.
Bernard Arnault, Europe’s wealthiest person and the owner of the LVMH luxury goods group, known for Louis Vuitton bags, announced a donation of €200 million (£172m) in response to an appeal launched by France’s heritage foundation, the Fondation du Patrimoine and President Emmanuel Macron.
François-Henri Pinault, a French billionaire married to Salma Hayek, the actress, said his family would donate €100 million for reconstruction, which experts said could take up to 10 years.
The latest major contribution on Tuedsday came from French cosmetics giant L’Oreal and its founding Bettencourt family, which gave €200 million to the reconstruction effort.
The Paris regional authority said it would provide €10 million in emergency aid. Members of the public were also donating money in response to appeals by France’s heritage foundation, the Fondation du Patrimoine and President Emmanuel Macron. Online donations by hundreds of individuals totalled €16,000 on Tuesday morning.
LVMH announced its donation on Twitter. “The Arnault family and the LVMH group are in solidarity with this national tragedy and are mobilising for #NotreDame. They will make a donation totalling 200 million euros to the fund dedicated to rebuilding this architectural work which is part of the history of France.”
LVMH also offered to place “all its creative, architectural and financial teams at the disposal of the state and the institutions concerned to help in the lengthy task of reconstruction to come, and to raise funds.”
Mr Pinault, 56, the sixth richest person in France, announced that his family was donating €100 million in a tweet, saying: “This tragedy strikes all French people and far beyond all those who are attached to spiritual values. Faced with a drama like this, everyone wishes to restore life as quickly as possible to this jewel of our heritage.”
He has often made tabloid headlines for dating the supermodel Linda Evangelista, and for marrying Hayek in 2009. He heads the luxury goods group Kering, which includes brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. He also runs the Artémis group, which owns the Christie’s fine arts auction house.
He created the Kering Foundation in 2009 to promote women’s rights and in 2015 launched a joint campaign with the Cannes Film Festival to raise awareness of gender issues in the film industry.
He succeeded his father as managing director of the PPR group in 2009 and divested its retail interests in department stores such as Printemps to focus on luxury goods.
This year he joined the boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei after it enacted laws that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death.
Mr Arnault, 70, heads the LVMH group formed in 1971 out of a merger between the fashion house Louis Vuitton and the Moët Hennessy drinks company, which produces Moët & Chandon champagne.
Its fashion brands include Dior, Fendi and Givenchy, and it produces Dom Pérignon and Veuve Cliquot champagne, premium clarets including Cheval Blanc, Glenmorangie. The group is a major patron of the arts in France, and opened a museum in Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in 2014.

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Posted by on Apr 16 2019. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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