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French billionaires pledge millions to rebuild Notre Dame

April 16, 2019 11:45 A.M. (Updated: April 21, 2019 11:55 A.M.)
PARIS (Ma'an) -- French billionaires pledged millions of Euros, on Tuesday, to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral, after it went up in flames, destroying its Gothic spire and roof.

French billionaire and businessman, Francois-Henri Pinault, pledged 100 million Euros to help "completely rebuild Notre Dame."

Pinault, who is married to Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek, said “my father [Francois 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.”

Soon after Pinault’s announcement, French billionaire Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH also pledged 200 million Euros for the reconstruction efforts.

Valerie Pecresse, president of the Ile-de-France region comprising the greater Paris region, said it would provide 10 million Euros.

The privately run French Heritage Foundation also launched a call for donations to help restore a "symbol of French history and culture."

In addition, head of a French lumber company also announced that it was prepared to offer the best oak beams available to rebuild the intricate lattice that supported the Notre Dame’s destroyed roof, known as the "Forest."

Moreover, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo proposed organizing an international donor conference to coordinate the pledges to restore the gothic architectural masterpiece.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) promised to stand "at France's side" to restore the site and called it “a priceless heritage.”

Notre Dame was added to UNESCO's world heritage list in 1991.

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