- French billionaires Bernard Arnault and Francois Henri Pinault are among those who pledged financial help for the reconstruction.
- At present, the money being used for the project came from private donations, mostly from French and American individuals.
- The high profile donors reportedly want to monitor the progress of the reconstruction plans first before handing over the promised funds.
On April 15, the world stood in shock as fire destroyed a good part of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. As Parisians and tourists mourn the devastating loss, several billionaires came to the rescue and pledged financial help to rebuild the structure.
As donations came pouring in from local authories and private individuals, a number of the richest men in France, which include businessman Bernard Arnault and Francois Henri Pinault, promised to give some of their millions to the cause. But according to the Associated Press, these billionaires have yet to fulfill on their pledges.
The church and business officials revealed that it’s the Notre Dame charitable foundations that are mainly funding the restoration at present, courtesy of donations from French and American individuals.
The donations are being used to foot bills and pay the salaries of more than 100 workers hired by the cathedral for the reconstruction.
The Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, a charitable foundation founded in 2017, estimates that 90 percent of the donations they amassed came from American donors.
According to Michel Picaud, the organization’s president, “Americans are very generous toward Notre Dame and the monument is very loved in America. Six out of our 11 board members are residents in the US.”
Notre Dame has yet to see the huge money offered by Arnault, owner of luxury goods group, LVMH…
…And Pinault, head of the Kering luxury goods company.
Both men pledged €200 million and €100 million respectively.
Andre Finot, senior press official at Notre Dame, said that the high profile donors are monitoring the progress of the reconstruction plans.
“The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent. They want to know what exactly their money is being spent on and if they agree to it before they hand it over, and not just to pay employees’ salaries,” said Finot.
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