Fire destroys legendary Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Firefighters rushed to the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday afternoon after a fire broke out at the central Paris landmark. According to local news reports, police have been treating the incident as an accident. The cathedral is best known for being featured in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

France's three wealthiest families are coming to the rescue of a national icon, spearheading a fundraising drive to rebuild Notre Dame that has topped $700 million.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L'Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined $565 million after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral. 

LVMH (LVMHF) and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised $226 million.  The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L'Oreal (LRLCF).

The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering (PPRUF), has pledged $113 million.

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire.

Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total (TOT) has promised $113 million, while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give $1.1 million.

Combined with other donations from companies including French bank Crédit Agricole, the total amount pledged by business and wealthy donors has reached $700 million. 















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