French billionaire pledges $113 million to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault pledged Tuesday to be drawing funds of about $113 million from his Artemis investment firm for the rebuilding of historic Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

The cathedral was destroyed to great extent after a fire broke on Monday that caused roof and main spire to collapse. The blaze was extinguished largely after eight hours and the two iconic rectangular towers have been saved. At one point about 400 firefighters were deployed.

Treating the fire as a national emergency French President Emmanuel Macron said the worst has been avoided and the cathedral will be rebuilt.

Investigation has been opened to know how the fire began and initial findings suggest it broke accidentally.

Notre Dame Cathedral dates back to the 12th century. It attracts tourists in millions every year.

United States President Donald Trump tweeted, “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!”

Treating the fire as a national emergency French President Emmanuel Macron said the worst has been avoided and the cathedral will be rebuilt.

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted, “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.”

The Vatican said in a statement that it was praying for the firefighters and Notre Dame is a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.

Paul Linus