Philanthropy

Louis Vuitton Owner Bernard Arnault Also Pledges €200 Million to Restore Notre Dame

France's richest man Bernard Arnault doubles the donation of Gucci's Francois-Henri Pinault.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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French billionare Bernard Arnault and his family just announced that their LVMH group will donate 200 million euros to help rebuild Notre Dame, which was heavily damaged by a massive fire on Monday, April 15.

The group issued a statement: "The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity ata this time of national tragedy, and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity," reports Reuters.


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Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France

As the world's largest luxury goods company, Bernard Arnault's LVMH has a vast portfolio of brands and subsidiaries. It has a total of 70 houses, 25 legacy houses, plus five brands that are younger than five years. LVMH's brands range from wines and spirits to fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewelry, retailing, and even yachts and hotels. These brands include Dom Pérignon, Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Sephora, Céline, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Rimowa, Bulgari, Hublot, Acqua di Parma, and Benefit, among others.

Earlier, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault also announced his family will donate 100 million euros to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral.

More: What Remains of Notre Dame in Paris After the Destructive Fire?

"My father (François Pinault) and I have decided to release from Artemis funds a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame," the art patron and philanthropist said in a statement, and as earlier reported by AFP.

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Henri Pinault is the chairmain and CEO of the Kering group, one of the world's largest luxury goods companies, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Tomas Maier, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, and Kering Eyewear, among many others; and the president of Groupe Artemis, the holding company that controls the assets of the Pinault family, which owns the auction house Christie's and several wineries.


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Salma Hayek and Henri Pinault

He is currently married to actress Salma Hayek, who has also expressed her sadness after the fire engulfed the cathedral. "Like many others, it is with horror and sadness that I watch the beauty of Notre-Dame go up in smoke... Paris I love you," she posted on Instagram.

Pinault's statement came after French President Emmanuel Macron announced he is set to seek funding for the 850-year-old cathedral's restoration. Macron also expressed his devastation over what had occured. "I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight," he wrote in a tweet.

Meanwhile, many world leaders have also reacted to the tragedy, with former U.S. President Barack Obama posting one of the most moving messages on Twitter: "It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can."


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Nicole Limos Morales
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Nicole’s career in publishing began in 2006. Before becoming Town & Country online’s managing editor, she moved from features editor to beauty editor of the title’s print edition. “The lessons in publishing are countless,” she says. “The most crucial ones for me? That to write best about life, you need to live your life. And another I still struggle to live by: ‘Brevity is a virtue; verbosity is a vice.’”
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