Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring in from companies around the world to rebuild the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral within five years. The donations—which have totalled nearly a billion dollars—are raising questions from charities and politicians, who are wondering if tax breaks are the main reason why so much is being donated, Reuters explains.
Though the investigation into why the fire occured is still ongoing, the roof and 300-foot spire endured the most damage. The blaze left most of the building in stable condition—as Vox explains, the building was designed structurally independent, so that one part can set on fire without the rest burning. It is rumoured that it started on fire due to the construction that it has been undergoing.
This hasn’t stopped French companies from pledging millions of euros, including:
The families behind two of France’s biggest fashion giants, Kering (owner of Gucci) and LVMH (owner of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior), who announced €100 million and €200 million, respectively. Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault and his father unblocked the money from their holding company to participate in the efforts.
Best known for its cosmetics, L’Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family have collectively pledged €200 million for the cause.
Multinational gas giant Total said it too would contribute €100 million.
Bouygues CEO Martin Bouygues and his brother, Olivier, pledged €10 million in total.
Advertising behemoth JCDecaux has pledged €20 million and will donate space from its advertising spaces to promote efforts to rebuild the cathedral. It’ll also match the full amount of all employees’ donations to the rebuild.
Several major companies throughout the world have also pledged money to help rebuild the cathedral, including Apple, Ubisoft and Disney.
On Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company will make a donation to help restore the 850-year-old cathedral. “We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope,” he said, without elaborating on how much would be donated.
Dating app Badoo is pledging all of its April profits from its 22 million users in France to the cause.
The makers of the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be donating €500,000 to aid with restoration efforts, while making Assassin’s Creed Unity free on PC for the next week to “give all gamers the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of the cathedral”.
The Walt Disney Company pledged $5 million in aid, the company announced in a press release. “Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries,” said chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger.