Donation Pledges Roll In For Notre Dame’s Reconstruction

Pledges of hundreds of millions of euros are rolling in from wealthy French and international donors to pay for the planned reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral damaged in Monday’s dramatic fire.

The promised donations were announced Tuesday as fire investigators continue to assess the damage to the architectural landmark built over 850 years ago.

President Emmanuel Macron, in a televised speech Tuesday night, said the cathedral could be reconstructed in five years.

The project could also take not years, but decades, experts say. No cost or time estimates have been announced.

The donors include billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, owner of the luxury group Kering, who pledged 100 million euros. His rival, billionaire businessman and owner of LVMH luxury goods group Bernard Arnault, said his family and company will donate 200 million euros.

The Bettencourt Meyers family, owners of the French cosmetic company L’Oréal, said they and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation will donate 200 million euros.

The French oil company Total is pledging 100 million euros.

Almost a dozen other French companies and banks are pledging tens of millions of euros more and technical expertise to aid the reconstruction, according to Reuters.

The United Nations pledged its support through the Paris-based cultural agency UNESCO.

In the United States, private-equity tycoon Henry Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josée Kravis, pledged $10 million and Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted that his company will donate an unspecified amount to the rebuilding efforts “for future generations.”

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