Millions Raised for Notre Dame; Macron Vows to Rebuild within Five Years

The amount of money pledged to reconstruct Notre Dame after a massive fire caused significant damage to the French Cathedral now runs into millions of euros.

Emmanuel Macron, the French President, vowed to reconstruct the 850-year-old structure within five years. He promised the government would do everything possible to rebuild Notre Dame so it becomes even more beautiful than it was before the fire.

The devastating fire was completely extinguished 15 hours after the first flame burned. The damage was a major one, with the flames licking the old aged roof and resulting in the collapse of the spire. Firefighters worked all through the night to save the main stone structure, including the two towers. It is yet to be ascertained why the fire began. Remy Heitz, the public prosecutor of Paris, told reporters that authorities currently favor the accident theory but have already assigned 50 specialists to work on what is deemed to be a “complex” and “long” investigation. Several officials surmise the blaze could be connected to the extensive renovation activity which was taking place inside the Cathedral. Thoughts are now emerging as to how the Notre Dame structure can be restored to its former glory.

Finances hopefully will not be a problem, with several French business tycoons and companies pledging approximately 600 million euros between them. Reconstruction assistance has come from all over the world. Donald Tusk, the European Council President, asked EU member states to be united during this time on this issue. Air France, the French national carrier, issued a statement saying the company would provide flight tickets free of charge to any individual who takes part in the Notre Dame reconstruction.

Offers of monetary help have poured in from French conglomerates. Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO and chairman of Kering Group and who is the owner of iconic luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, pledged 100 million euros towards the reconstruction of Notre Dame. Another 200 million euros were promised by the family of Bernard Arnault and their LVMH company. The LVMH group owns and controls brands like Sephora and Louis Vuitton. The Bettencourt family who owns L’Oreal, the cosmetics behemoth, promised to provide an extra 200 million euros for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

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