Within 48 hours of the Notre Dame fire, which destroyed much of the roof and spire of the historic cathedral, the CEO’s of France’s wealthiest conglomerates are lining up to pledge millions towards its restoration.
LVMH supremo Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, whose company owns brands including Bulgari, Hublot, and TAG Heuer, has pledged €200 million, together with the aid of all the conglomerate’s resources; creative, architectural and financial to assist with the rebuild.
François-Henri Pinault, owner of the luxury conglomerate Kering, which includes Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen has also announced his pledge of €100 million.
The Bettencourt Meyers family, which has a 33% stake in l’Oreal, has also pledged €200 million. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world, has a net worth of $53.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
While experts say it will take “take a minimum of 10 to 20 years” to restore the iconic 850-year-old building, French President Emmanuel Macron has a much more ambitious target of a complete restoration within 5 years in time for the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris.
The Master Mason in York, John David, who worked on the four-year restoration of York Minster cathedral following a major fire in 1984, estimates the considerably larger Notre Dame project in Paris could take somewhere between 8-10 years.