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French billionaire pledges 100 million euros to rebuild Notre Dame

A French billionaire has pledged to donate 100 million euros to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after the historic building was engulfed in a fire Monday.

Francois-Henri Pinault, who owns the French luxury group Kering, made the pledge to the AFP news agency. Kering owns French luxury fashion brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent.


"My father [Fran├žois 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," Pinault said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed News.

Monday's massive blaze destroyed much of the cathedral, including its spire and stained-glass windows.

After originally believing that the fire would destroy the entire building, authorities later said that the cathedral had been saved from "total destruction," and that the structure's iconic bell towers were intact.

Police told CNN on Monday evening that the fire was under control.

Authorities were also able to save some pieces of art from the cathedral, including key relics like the Crown of Thorns and the Tunic of Saint Louis.

A number of world leaders and prominent figures expressed sadness over the damage to Notre Dame.

"Notre Dame of Paris in flames. Emotion for a whole nation," French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. "Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn."

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