Two days following the historic landmark Notre Dame Cathedral that is located in Paris, France was ravaged by a massive fire, a combined total amountinf to $902 million (€800 milllion, £692 million) has been raised for the reconstruction the Unesco World Heritage site.
Half of the funds that were raised comes from French billionaires — both the Bettencourt family, which founded French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, and François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering, which owns Gucci both pledged €100 million, while the family of Bernard Arnault and LVMH, their their luxury goods firm, pledged €200 million.
The remainder has come from a raft of donation pages and various individual pledges from world leaders.
AT 6.43pm local time last Monday, a blaze was discovered at the Notre Dame cathedral. It took around 15 hours to distinguish the massive fire. The Fondation du Patrimoine, an independent non-profit heritage group, said that it is still too early to estimate the cost of the damage.
However, the fire has destroyed most of the roof of the cathedral which led to the collapse of its iconic spire.
The cathedral also contained some invaluable historic artifacts, including a tunic King Louis IX that is said to have worn when he brought the crown to Paris as well as a crown of thorns which the church claims was worn by Jesus his crucifixion.
Franck Riester, the Culture Minister, confirmed that a number of artwork and religious items, including the tunic and crown, were rescued. He said that the items would be sent to the Louvre museum to be kept and restored. He added that any salvageable paintings would also be removed by this coming Friday and sent to the museum.