Gucci and Vuitton families donate €300m for Notre Dame restoration
The Pinault and Vuitton families pledged €300m to help in the reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral on Monday, just a few hours after fire engulfed the Parisian cathedral in flames.
President Emmanuel Macron called for help at a fund-raising campaign late on Monday and Francois-Henri Pinault, the chairman and chief executive officer of Gucci owner Kering SA, and his father, Francois Pinault, pledged €100m from their Artemis investment company to the cause.
“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” Francois-Henri Pinault said in the statement. “Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible.”
Their archrival, the Arnault family, responded minutes later with a pledge of €200m and the architectural and design resources of their Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion conglomerate.
The family said the money will be dedicated “to the construction of this architectural work, which makes up part of the history of France.”
“LVMH Group will put at the disposal of the state all of its teams -- creative, architectural, financial -- to help on the one hand with the long construction work, and on the other hand with the fundraising effort,” the family added in the statement.
The Ile-de-France regional government around Paris will release €10m euros in emergency aid to the archdiocese for initial rebuilding work.
The average Frenchman on the street is also donating money for the reconstruction of the cathedral and the New York-based French Heritage Society has already started a fund.
Yet one of the first initiatives to launch the search for financing was microfinancing platform GoFundMe.