French billionaire Bernard Arnault has pledged €200m (£173m) to rebuild Notre Dame in Paris as donors flock to save the heritage site, which was gutted by a blaze yesterday.
Arnault, who is behind French firm LVMH, which controls fashion house Louis Vuitton and champagne maker Moet & Chandon, said the firm’s architects and creative team will also help repair the building.
It comes after Francois-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of Kering which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, pledged €100m to the efforts last night while the building was still on fire.
Pictures have emerged this morning showing the devastation following the fire at the 850-year-old cathedral.
Neighbours in Paris started noticing smoke billowing from the roof of Notre Dame at around 7pm last night local time.
Video from the scene later showed a spire, a 19th-century reconstruction of the original, engulfed in the flames. It later collapsed, seemingly into the cathedral itself, provoking gasps and screams from the gathered crowds.
The fire raged for several more hours, with firefighters managing to avoid complete calamity by saving priceless pieces of art and artefacts from the inferno. Reports have emerged of one seriously injured firefighter
French President Emanuel Macron led tributes to the cathedral and vowed to rebuild her.
It is still unclear what caused the fire, but speculation has raged that it could be connected to conservation work on the roof of Notre Dame where scaffolding still stands.
The Associated Press news agency reported that the fire was extinguished this morning.