- The Washington Times
Monday, April 15, 2019

One of France’s richest families promptly stepped up to calls from the country’s president to help rebuild the Cathedral of Notre Dame and pledged about $113 million to restore the gutted Paris icon. Shortly after, another wealthy family offered $226 million to the restoration fund.

“My father and I have decided to release immediately 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,” François-Henri Pinault said in a statement quoted by Le Figaro and other French news outlets.

The younger Mr. Pinault is the chairman and CEO of the Kering group, which controls such luxury-goods brands as Gucci and Saint Laurent. He also is president of Groupe Artemis, the French holding company that owns Christie’s auction house.

As the fire died down Monday evening at the centuries-old landmark, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged a national fundraising campaign.

“We will rebuild,” he said. “We will rebuild Notre Dame because this is what the French expect, because this is what our history deserves, because it is our destiny.”

The younger Mr. Pinault is married to actress Salma Hayek.

Following the report about François Pinault’s contribution, French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH pledged 200 million euros ($226 million) for the reconstruction of Notre Dame.

A statement Tuesday from LVMH said the luxury goods group and the Arnault family would make the donation to a rebuilding fund for the cathedral.

LVMH called the cathedral a “symbol of France, its heritage and its unity.”

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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