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Updated: Châteaux owners pledge hundreds of millions to rebuild Notre-Dame

François Pinault, owner of Château Latour and Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury group LVMH, have pledged to donate hundreds of millions of Euros towards rebuilding Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after a major fire devastated the 850-year-old landmark on 15th April.

Pinault has stated he will donate €100 million, and Arnault €200 million to the international fundraising campaign marked for cathedral restorations, according to French news agency Agence France-Presse. 

The blaze began on the evening of 15th April, engulfing Notre-Dame, with the French fire service working through the night to extinguish the flames, which was finally confirmed this morning (16th April).

The LVMH Group announced on its Instagram account; ‘In the wake of this national tragedy, the Arnault family and the LVMH Group pledge their support for #NotreDame. They will donate a total of 200 million euros to the fund for reconstruction of this architectural work, which is an integral part of the history of France.’

The group has also offered the support of all teams, including creative, architectural and financial, to help with the long term work of reconstruction.

As owner of LVMH, Arnault owns Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, Krug, Moët Hennsey and fashion brand Louis Vuitton.

Pinault also owns Eisele Vineyard Estate in Napa Valley – previously named Araujo, Clos de Tart in Burgundy and Château Grillet in Northern Rhône. His parent company Kering also owns luxury fashion brands Gucci and Yves San Laurent.

Martin and Olivier Bouygues, owners of Château Montrose in St Estèphe and Clos Rougeard in Saumur-Champigny, have made a personal donation of €10 million.

The Charlois Group, owner of Saury, Berthomieu and Leroi barrel makers, have said it will source and donate the best oak for repairing the roof.

Mouton Rothschild Versailles case

Château Mouton Rothschild has offered the £750,000 raised from the London sale of 25 of the limited edited Mouton Rothschild Versailles Celebration cases to the Notre Dame fund. 

The money was originally for the restoration of the Palace of Versailles – which the proceeds from the New York and Paris sales still will.

‘With funds from [the] sale going towards the rebuilding on Notre-Dame Cathedral, each case more than doubled the opening bid, with the average price exceeding that achieved in Hong Kong, reaching £30,105 / US$ 39,325 / HK$ 592,000,’ said Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

‘We are now looking forward to the final sale in New York on 4 May.’

The Notre-Dame fire

The cathedral took 200 years to build and has been in Paris for 850 years, surviving both World Wars.

The fire burned the roof and caused the spire to collapse, but the north and south towers, and main structure have remained. The full extent of the damage is being assessed, but there were no casualties in the fire.

It is believed the fire was accidental and could have started during renovation work on the cathedral.


Update: This story originally stated Sotheby’s Wine donated the £750,000, not Mouton Rothschild. 

See also: Anson: Château owners dominate French rich list

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