As Paris woke up to a sunrise revealing the aftermath of Monday’s devastating blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral, the people of France were already making plans on how to restore the 850-year-old building to its former glory. One unexpected person to step forward to help was Salma Hayek’s billionaire husband, François-Henri Pinault, who said he and his family would pledge 100million euros ($113million) to assist in repairing the historic building.
“My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artémis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame,” read François-Henri’s statement.
His father, François Pinault, founded holding company Groupe Artémis, which owns famed auction house Christie’s and is a majority stakeholder in French luxury group Kering – home of such brands as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen – in 1992.
Oscar winning actress Salma, who married François-Henri on Valentine’s Day 2009 and has a daughter, Valentina Pinault, with the billionaire fashion boss, posted a picture of the burning cathedral on Instagram. “As many others I’m in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre-Dame turn into smoke,” she wrote. “I love you Paris. Comme beaucoup d’autres, c’est avec effroi et tristesse que je regarde la beauté de Norte-Dame partir en fumée… Paris, je t’aime ! #notredame #paris”.