Europe's richest man promises Sh22 billion to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral gutted down by fire

Richest man in Europe promises Sh22 Trillion to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral (Photo:Courtesy)

The richest man in Europe is one of several billionaires who have pledged to donate millions to help restore devastated Cathedral.

Huge parts of the 850-year-old building in Paris have been destroyed in the blaze, including the iconic spire and roof.

Huge parts of the 850-year-old building in Paris have been destroyed (Photo: Courtesy)

But President Emmanuel Macron said: "I am solemnly telling you tonight: this cathedral will be rebuilt by all of us together" as he described Notre Dame as "our history".

And now Bernard Arnault's family and his LVMH luxury goods group have said he will donate Sh22 billion to restore the iconic cathedral.

This cathedral will be rebuilt by all of us together (Photo: Courtesy)

He said in a statement: "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."

He doubled the offer of former business rival François-Henri Pinault who was first to come forward with huge sums of cash.

Mr Arnault, who Forbes says is the richest person in Europe, is CEO of LVMH, whose subsidiaries include Dior, Marc Jacobs, Bulgari, Givenchy Parfums, Moët & Chandon and Mercier.

The 70-year-old instantly became the biggest benefactor of an appeal launched by Macron.

But he's not the only millionaire who has offered to help with big financial pledges.

And François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of international luxury group Kering, which includes Gucci and Saint Laurent, he and his family will donate Sh11 billion to help repair the historic landmark.

"My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artemis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame," the businessman wrote in a statement within hours of the blaze.

Bernard Arnault is CEO of LVMH (Photo: Courtesy)

Dad-to-five Mr Arnault, born in Roubaix, about 140 miles northwest of Paris, is said to be worth some £68 billion. It makes him the fourth richest person in the world, Forbes says.

In April last year, he became the richest person in fashion.