Video by Meredith Ganzman
Billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault made a $113 million donation towards the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral after parts of the historic structure went up in smoke.
Pinault is married to actress Salma Hayek. His company, Kering, oversees luxury brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen. He will be making the donation on behalf of his family’s investment firm, Groupe Artemis, alongside his father, Francois Pinault.
The funds, Pinault reveals, are “to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame,” as reported by French newspaper Le Figaro.
Hayek, who has been married to Pinault since their Parisian wedding in 2009, took to Instagram to make a statement about the tragedy of the destructive fires, in a heartfelt post.
The caption reads, “As many others, I’m in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre Dame turn into smoke. I love you Paris.”
She goes on to make a second post, the caption of which is in both French and Spanish. It translates to her feelings of inspiration in seeing the force and spirit of France as they come together to rebuild their heritage.
Pinault’s donation was quickly followed up by donations from other wealthy, French families. The generosity has been pouring in since the flames first engulfed the cathedral, with donations hitting a mark of about $700 million total.