LVMH, Kering and L'Oreal pledge a total of €500 million to help rebuild the Notre-Dame cathedral
Fashion and beauty for good
It was a sad day for France and the world as the news broke about the devastating fire that befell Paris' 856-year-old Notre-Dame cathedral. The historical and cultural icon has survived centuries, two world wars and multiple fires, and has been named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.
The Notre-Dame was undergoing restoration and renovation works which possibly lead to the flames but thankfully because of this, most of the ancient relics in the cathedral have been relocated prior. More good news: the main structure and North and South towers remain intact. What suffered is the 13th century oak wood roof and the iconic spire that collapsed in the flames.
French President Emmanuel Macron has an optimistic outlook. In his address to the nation he says, "We are going to rebuild Notre Dame" and has called for a national fundraising campaign. Stepping in are three of France's largest companies. Luxury groups LVMH and Kering have pledged to donate €200 million and €100 million respectively to the renovation efforts, while the world's biggest beauty conglomerate, L'Oreal will donate €200 million.
Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault tells French radio station Europe 1, "It is a tragedy that touched us all. "I saw my 17-year-old daughter cry in front of the images. It deeply moved me so we wanted to react right away."
The owners of L'Oreal released the following statement, "The Bettencourt Meyers Family and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation are deeply touched by this tragedy which unites people from different cultures and faiths, and will participate in this collective effort brought by all talents and commitments, to take up this immense challenge which has affected the entire country."
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH explains, "It is important that we are united around this symbol... It is our culture and our national pride."