In a great display of solidarity, billionaires and organizations across the world poured in their generous donations for the reconstruction of the iconic Notre-Dame in Paris, France. Unfortunately, a massive fire ravaged a great portion of the iconic 850-year-old cathedral.
Spearheading the donations are the three wealthiest families of France. The Pinault family, which owns the retail conglomerate Kering has pledged a 100 million euros towards the reconstruction. The luxury group Kering owns luxury goods including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Bottega Veneta.
The Arnault family, which owns the LVHM fashion conglomerate, pledged 200 million euros towards the same. Also, the Bettencourt Meyers family, associated with the cosmetics company L’Oreal, chipped in with a 200 million euro contribution.
French oil producer, Total SA will also contribute 100 million euros. Further, technology and consulting firm Capgemini promised to contribute 1 million euros.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted that Apple will contribute towards the reconstruction efforts.
We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope. Relieved that everyone is safe. Apple will be donating to the rebuilding efforts to help restore Notre Dame’s precious heritage for future generations.🇫🇷
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 16, 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he would like the iconic cathedral to be reconstructed within the next five years. This also coincides with Paris hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024.
What is Notre-Dame?
The Notre-Dame de Paris, translated to Our Lady of Paris, is a cathedral consecrated to the Virgin Mary. It is located on an island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of the river Seine. It one of the most popular landmarks of France and the most widely recognized symbols of Paris, attracting close to 13 million visitors each year. Also the seat of the archbishop of Paris, it is also regarded as the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is one of the most pious cathedrals for Roman Catholics across the world.
It contains a wide range of relics that include the crown of thorns that Jesus Christ is believed to have worn before he was crucified.
When was it Built?
The first foundation stone for the cathedral was set in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII. The construction ended much later in 1345.
What Famous Historical Events have Occurred in Notre-Dame?
The cathedral has been witness to quite a few major historical events. For instance, in 1431, Henry VI of England was crowned the King of France inside the Notre-Dame. Also, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned the Emperor of France in the cathedral in 1804. Also, Joan of Arc was beatified in this cathedral by Pope Pius X in 1909.
During its long history of 850 years, it has seen many beautiful events and some tragic attempts to destroy it. However, it has always stood the test of time and has always stood its ground gracefully.
We stand in solidarity with all Parisians in this time of utter distress. We hope that the cathedral is restored to its magnificent state as soon as it can.