Pres Macron, French billionaire to rebuild fire-hit Notre-Dame de Paris
Paris Mayor says major works saved from fire damage; French gov't refuses Pres Trump's 'flying tankers' idea to put out blaze
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.
The Pinault family, through its investment firm Artémis, will reportedly support the reconstruction of the cathedral. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, ongoing renovation work at the structure was blamed for having started the fire, but these suggestions have yet to be formally confirmed.
Citing AFP, a report by BFMTV stated that chairman Pinault described the fire as a “tragedy”, adding that he and his father – François Pinault, the founder of Artémis – would participate in the rebuilding job.
Meanwhile, President Macron said Notre-Dame de Paris, “the epicentre of our lives”, would be rebuilt through a fundraising campaign.
Cette cathédrale Notre-Dame, nous la rebâtirons. Tous ensemble. C’est une part de notre destin français. Je m’y engage : dès demain une souscription nationale sera lancée, et bien au-delà de nos frontières.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
“Notre-Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people. But tonight, I’d like to speak of hope too,” he said, according to a report by Reuters.
“Let’s be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we’ve built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”
Four-hundred firefighters were deployed to the scene of Notre-Dame de Paris’s fire, which was said to have started accidently at around 7pm in the areas where its renovation is ongoing.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, commended these rescue efforts, adding in a tweet that several major artworks and pieces of significance had been retrieved and were being held “in a safe place”.
Merci aux @PompiersParis, aux policiers et aux agents municipaux qui ont réalisé ce soir une formidable chaîne humaine pour sauver les œuvres de #NotreDame. La couronne d'épines, la tunique de Saint Louis et plusieurs autres œuvres majeures sont à présent en lieu sûr. pic.twitter.com/cbrGWCbL2N— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) April 15, 2019
World leaders have come together to express sorrow regarding the damage caused to the iconic architectural structure by the fire, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May tweeting in support of Parisians and the operation’s firefighters.
My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 15, 2019
Prior to her tweet, US President Donald Trump had suggested the use of “flying tankers” to put out the blaze, but this suggestion was swiftly rejected by French civil security agency, Sécurité Civile, which tweeted – echoing similar views by numerous other fire safety and architecture experts – that top-down pressure could lead Notre-Dame de Paris’s structure to collapse.
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
#NotreDame @PompiersParis Le largage d'eau par avion sur ce type d'édifice pourrait en effet entraîner l'effondrement de l'intégralité de la structure.— Sécurité Civile Fr (@SecCivileFrance) April 15, 2019
Aux côtés des #sapeurspompiers qui font actuellement le maximum pour sauver #NotreDame.
After my last tweet, I got a couple DMs asking firefighting related questions about the #NotreDameFire.— Gregg Favre (@GreggFavre) April 15, 2019
I -like most of you- are watching from a world away. But if you’re interested in some profession specific things I’d note/be concerned of, you can follow this thread. pic.twitter.com/golMnbYsDK