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Notre Dame fire LIVE: Blaze ‘an accident’ as new photos show devastation inside –

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Billionaire giving £86m from his personal wealth

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault says he is pledging to donate 100 million euro (£86million) to rebuild Notre Dame as the cathedral is a “symbol of spirituality and our common humanity”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the businessman, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, said he expects others to follow suit as “it has to be a collective endeavour” to renovate the Parisian landmark, saying that “everyone with means and recourse should participate”.

He says it was a “shock” to see the building on fire, adding: “We need to rebuild collectively this part of our history, of our culture, so it’s an urgent, urgent need to move forward, so I decided to unlock a very important amount of money to do that.”

Asked if others from around the world could join him in donating money, he says: “Everyone is welcome, it goes beyond France, it’s a symbol of our culture, a symbol of spirituality and our common humanity.”

Mr Pinault says the money, which comes from his family’s personal wealth and not his retail empire Kering, comes with no strings attached or “ownership” as to how it is used to repair Notre Dame.

Francois-Henri Pinault has also pledged to donate millions
Francois-Henri Pinault and wife Salma Hayek (Image: (Credit too long, see caption))

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