Apple joins Louis Vuitton, Gucci owners in pledge to rebuild Notre Dame after fire

By Business LeadersFOXBusiness

Notre Dame Cathedral fire: I’m heartbroken by the scene, historian Doug Weed says

Presidential historian Doug Weed, who traveled to Paris yearly since 1974, says he is in disbelief over Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral engulfing in flames.

Apple has joined two French billionaires that have pledged 300 million euros (about $339 million) to reconstruct the Notre Dame cathedral after a catastrophic fire tore through the Parisian landmark on Monday, severely damaging the 850-year-old structure.

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Francois-Henri Pinault, chair and CEO of French luxury group Kering, said Monday night he and his family will donate 100 million euros to rebuild the cathedral. Kering owns brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. Pinault also heads Artemis, a French holding company that owns auction house Christie’s.

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Bernard Arnault, the chair of LVMH, doubled that donation on Tuesday morning, giving 200 million euros. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, includes brands Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

“The Arnault family and the LVMH Group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are committed to assist with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” the company said in a statement posted online.

On Tuesday, Apple joined the French companies in pledging to donate to help with the reconstruction efforts. The size of the donation is unclear. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope," CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet. "Relieved that everyone is safe. Apple will be donating to the rebuilding efforts to help restore Notre Dame’s precious heritage for future generations."

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed late Monday to rebuild the 12th-century cathedral, announcing a national fundraising campaign that would be launched on Tuesday. He called on the world’s “greatest talents” to help.

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The Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most visited tourist destinations in France, and in the world. In 2018, close to 13 million tourists visited the church.

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