As Paris woke up to a sunrise revealing the aftermath of Monday’s devastating blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral, the people of France were already making plans on how to restore the 850-year-old building to its former glory. One unexpected person to step forward to help was Salma Hayek’s billionaire husband, François-Henri Pinault, who said he and his family would pledge 100million euros ($113million) to assist in repairing the historic building.
"My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artémis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame," read François-Henri's statement.
His father, François Pinault, founded holding company Groupe Artémis, which owns famed auction house Christie's and is a majority stakeholder in French luxury group Kering – home of such brands as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen – in 1992.
On Tuesday morning, Parisians woke to the aftermath of the devastating blaze that struck Notre-Dame Cathedral
Oscar winning actress Salma, who married François-Henri on Valentine’s Day 2009 and has a daughter, Valentina Pinault, with the billionaire fashion boss, posted a picture of the burning cathedral on Instagram. "As many others I’m in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre-Dame turn into smoke," she wrote. "I love you Paris. Comme beaucoup d’autres, c’est avec effroi et tristesse que je regarde la beauté de Norte-Dame partir en fumée... Paris, je t’aime ! #notredame #paris".
On Monday afternoon, the world was shocked by images of the quick moving blaze which broke out in the church, located in a tourist-packed square, on Monday afternoon and burned well into the night. The fire, which took firefighters around nine hours to get under control, is currently being considered accidental.
Meanwhile, as French charity Fondation du Patrimoine launched an appeal to raise funds for the immense restoration, the country’s President Emmanuel Macron said that despite the “terrible tragedy”, Notre-Dame would be brought back to life. "We'll rebuild this cathedral all together... It's undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we'll have for the coming years. That's what the French expect because it's what our history deserves,” he said.