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France's Total donates $112m to rebuild fire-hit Notre-Dame de Paris

Oil and gas giant says contribution comes as historic monument, which caught fire on 15 April, represents its 'French roots'

Renovation works are thought to have caused the Notre-Dame fire.
Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images
Renovation works are thought to have caused the Notre-Dame fire.

Euronext Paris-listed French oil and gas giant Total has donated $112.1m to help reconstruct France’s fire-hit 850-year old landmark monument, Notre-Dame de Paris, joining global companies such as Indian-held Arcelor Mittal and France's Artemis in a bid to rebuild the historic monument.

In a company statement on 2 May, Total said it had decided to make the donation since the world heritage monument represented the company’s French roots.

Through the French Heritage Foundation, Total will contribute towards the restoration of the monument that was hit by a fire on 15 April. The blaze brought down Notre-Dame de Paris's wooden spire and part of its vaulted roof.

According its statement, Total has donated $31.3m over the last 12 years to support more than 230 heritage restoration projects in France.

Total’s move comes weeks after Euronext Amsterdam-listed steel and mining company Acelor Mittal offered to provide steel to reconstruct the gothic cathedral, which was designed by French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

Headed by Indian billionaire and steel baron Laxmi Mittal, Acelor Mittal will also provide authorities its expertise in construction and architecture of the historic landmark, which stood tall through the World War II.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, French billionaire and chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, François-Henri Pinault had committed $113m towards the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris through his firm's investment arm, Artemis.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced in a tweet on 16 April that France would rebuild the world heritage landmark “even more beautifully”.

Macron added that he hoped to complete reconstruction work on the monument in the next five years.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019