According to TIME, the fund to restore Notre Dame cathedral has reached €1,000,000,000,000.
One billion. Let that sink in.
Stephane Bern, a French TV personality, who was one of the first people to launch the funding appeal, announced the news today, saying: “The billion-euro mark of donations was reached during the day.”
In less than 48 hours, the enormous amount of money has flooded in, with most of it coming from French billionaire businessmen.
Bernard Arnault’s family and his LVMH luxury goods group donated €200 million to help repair the cathedral, while François-Henri Pinault, a 56 year-old luxury goods group owner of Kering, which owns brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, pledged to give €100 million.
Arnault’s statement read: “The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at a this time of national tragedy, and are joining up to help rebuild this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol of France, of its heritage and of French unity.”
French cosmetics company L’Oreal has also donated €200 million, while the Walt Disney Company has given €5 million.
Notre Dame cathedral burst into flames on Monday night, with it’s iconic spire falling own among the flames. Crowds gathered as the blaze ravaged the 850-year-old structure, with thousands of people singing hymns on the street.