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Two French Billionaires Offer Hundreds Of Millions Of Euros To Help Rebuild Notre Dame

Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

Two French billionaires pledged Tuesday to donate a total of 300 million euros to fund the restoration of Notre Dame cathedral after Monday’s massive fire.

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the luxury retail group Kering and president of Groupe Artémis, announced Monday night while fires still burned in Notre Dame that his family would donate 100 million euros to help rebuild the cathedral. Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of the luxury group LVMH, doubled Pinault’s donation on Tuesday, pledging to give 200 million euros toward the reconstruction of Notre Dame, according to Buzzfeed News. (RELATED: Notre Dame Is Still Standing, But Not For Much Longer Unless It’s ‘Stabilized,’ Expert Says)

“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 wrote in a statement.

The luxury group LVMH has 70 brands including Moët & Chandon, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and Sephora. Arnault and his family are the fourth richest family in the world, with a net worth of more than $90 billion according to Forbes. Pinault, in addition to leading Kering, is the husband of actress Salma Hayek and has a family net worth of $35.1 billion.

Their combined donations, totaling more than $300,000, while significant will only cover a portion of the funds needed to fully repair Notre Dame, which lost the entirety of its upper roof and spire. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

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