Pledges from individuals, businesses and communities could soon exceed one billion euros for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame cathedral.
From Apple to the European Central Bank to thousands of anonymous pledges pour in to rebuild the monument, reaching at least 800 million euros of pledges . The billion mark should be easily crossed.
Pinault, Arnault, Bettencourt, Bouygues, Decaux …
Several large French fortunes have released their checkbook in the night from Monday to Tuesday: the Pinault family has promised 100 million euros, followed by the LVMH group and the family Arnault, first fortune of France, which announced a donation of 200 million, then the Bettencourt-Meyers family and the L’Oréal group (200 million).
The businessman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (Fimalac), wanted to participate in the amount of 10 million “restoration of the arrow.” The Bouygues family has promised a similar envelope and the Decaux family a donation of 20 million.
Long and difficult reconstruction
An unprecedented momentum of solidarity “which is due to the completely exceptional position of Notre-Dame”, for François Debiesse, boss of the association Admical which promotes corporate patronage, comparing this movement of solidarity to that observed during major disasters humanitarian.
On Monday night, President Macron confirmed that a national subscription would be launched, for a reconstruction that looks long and difficult. While firefighters were still hard at work, businesses and anonymous started donating, causing congestion on the Heritage Foundation website.
Already a record
It is through this private organisation that the underwriting is organised, which is already a historic success. To cope with the demand, another site ( rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr ) has since been set up, under the authority of the Center des monuments nationaux.
At the end of the first day of mobilisation, the Heritage Foundation announced a collection of donations from businesses and the general public of more than 136.3 million euros including 100 million euros from the Total group.
Pour que Notre-Dame puisse renaître de ses cendres nous lançons un appel international. Tous les dons reçus seront intégralement versés au chantier de restauration. ➡https://t.co/QAB3kEZRlq pic.twitter.com/XRIObHFLbW
— Fondation du patrimoine (@fond_patrimoine) April 15, 2019
Among the donors are Brazilian billionaire Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation with 10 million euros, Groupe BPCE and Société Générale, each of which donated 10 million euros.
The insurer Axa has promised 10 million euros, Crédit Agricole, through its foundation, announced a donation of 5 million.
And the sums should continue to flow thanks to the call for mobilization launched by the French employers to entrepreneurs.
For its part, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced to AFP a contribution of 50 million euros from the City and wishes to organize “in the coming weeks, a major international conference of donors.”
The Ile-de-France region will for its part release 10 million euros “emergency aid to help the archdiocese to do the first work”.
Other municipalities (Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse …) and communities have followed, like the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region which has committed two million euros or the Occitanie region which will offer assistance from 1.5 million euros.
“When there is such energy, such a desire for solidarity among our compatriots, but more broadly personalities, people all over the world who want to contribute to rebuilding Notre-Dame, we must also rely on this enthusiasm. “, Welcomed the Minister of Culture Franck Riester on France Inter.
“Today, under the patronage law, there are tax cuts of 60% for companies and 66% for individuals. We will see with the government what specific device we are implementing, “he detailed.
The momentum of solidarity has already crossed the French borders.
Apple will contribute to the reconstruction efforts of this cathedral “symbol of hope,” announced his boss Tim Cook on Twitter, without further details.
The American Henry Kravis, co-founder of the investment fund KKR, wants to contribute up to 10 million dollars (8.85 million euros).
The American Catholic University of Notre Dame, Indiana, has announced a donation of $ 100,000 for “a church whose exquisite gothic architecture has lifted God’s spirits and hearts for centuries,” according to its president .
More modest, the association French Heritage Society in New York, which is dedicated to the preservation of the French architectural heritage, reaped Tuesday 39 000 dollars, from 510 different donors, most in the United States.