Within 24 Hours, Luxury Tycoons And Others Lead 500+ Million Euro Funding Pledge To Rebuild Notre Dame

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Nearly 500 million euros were pledged by billionaires and local governments on Tuesday in order to help restore Paris’ historic monument Notre-Dame.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Nearly 500 million euros were pledged by billionaires and local governments on Tuesday in order to help restore Paris’ historic monument Notre-Dame.

It has also come to notice that a few international foundations and crowd-sourcing sites are launching fundraising drives.

France's President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the emblematic monument will be rebuilt after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a blaze thought to be linked to extensive renovation work.

(This Notre Dame cathedral, we will rebuild it. All together. It's part of our French destiny. I commit myself: tomorrow a national subscription will be launched, and well beyond our borders.)

French luxury group Kering kicked off the campaign late Monday with a promise of 100 million euros (USD 113 million) made by tycoon François-Henri Pinault.

Kering’s brands include renowned names like Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.

That was followed Tuesday by a 200-million-euro pledge from its crosstown rival LVMH and the family of its founder Bernard Arnault.

Patrick Pouyanne, the chief executive of the French oil giant 'Total' also said that it would contribute 100 million euros towards the rebuilding of the 850-year-old church.

Among the high-profile donors, investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere also pledged to donate 10 million euros while construction magnates Martin and Olivier Bouygues also agreed on contributing the similar amount.

Pledges were also pouring in from anonymous donors to groups including the privately run French Heritage Foundation, which said it had already secured pledges totalling 1.6 million euros.

There were also donors on a more modest scale as a fund set up by an "anonymous Parisian" on the Leetchi fundraising platform had topped 20,000 euros at midday Tuesday

The Hungarian city of Szeged also promised on donating 10,000 euros for the reconstruction of the medieval-era church, in recognition of the help it received from the French capital after a devastating flood in 1879.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Tuesday that the city would unlock 50 million euros, and proposed holding an international donors' conference in the coming weeks to coordinate the pledges to restore the gothic architectural masterpiece.

She said, “I will propose that we organize in the coming weeks a major international conference of donors, which I am ready to welcome to the City Hall, with patrons from around the world, to raise the funds necessary for the restoration”.

Built in the 13th century, the medieval structure is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol. It is one of Paris' most popular attractions, it draws an estimated 13 million visitors per year; thus, specialized craftsmen and rare materials are also expected to be needed to restore it.

The United Nations' Paris-based cultural agency UNESCO has promised to stand "at France's side" to restore the site, which it declared a world heritage site in 1991.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to send "the best Russian specialists with rich experience in the restoration of national heritage monuments."

The painstaking renovation work is likely to cost hundreds of millions of euros over several years, if not decades, though experts breathed sighs of relief that the damage was not even worse.

The steeple of the gothic edifice had been undergoing an 11-million-euro (USD 12.4-million) overhaul financed by the French state to repair the damage inflicted by time, pollution and the weather.

(With agency inputs)

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