A huge fire swallowed up Paris’ Notre Dame, the world-famous, 850-year-old cathedral on Monday, damaging much of the structure and causing its iconic spire to fall.
French billionaire François-Henri Pinault has reportedly committed $113m towards the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris – a historic structure that was ravaged by a blaze on 15 April which resulted in the collapse of its roof and iconic spire – while French President Emmanuel Macron promised to launch an international fundraising campaign for the rebuilding activity.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the burning cathedral was the “emotion of a whole nation.”
“Like all our countrymen, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn,” he tweeted as news of the fire began to spread.
In a speech later Monday night, in the vicinity of the still-burning cathedral, Macron pledged to rebuild Notre Dame.
“I’m telling you right now, very solemnly, we will rebuild this cathedral all together,” he said, vowing to seek out help at home and abroad. “I’m committed to this project.”
The Vatican released a statement on Monday evening conveying Pope Francis’:
“shock and sadness” at the destruction of a worldwide “symbol of Christianity.”
“We express our closeness to the French Catholics and the population of Paris and assure you of our prayers for the firefighters and how many are doing their best to cope with this tragic situation,” the statement read.
Earlier, President Donald Trump tweeted that it was “horrible to watch” Notre Dame burning and suggested that French authorities use “flying water tankers” to extinguish the flames.