Salma Hayek's husband pledges R1.5bn to Notre Dame restoration
Salma Hayek's husband François-Henri Pinault has pledged over €100 million (about R1.5 billion) to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after it caught fire.
The 56-year-old businessman - who has 11-year-old Valentina with Salma, whom he has been married to since 2009 - made the pledge alongside his father, François Pinault, after the historical cathedral in Paris, France, went up in flames on Monday evening, consuming the roof and causing its towering spire to collapse.
In a statement obtained by French newspaper Le Figaro, the Kering CEO - who controls a number of businesses including Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga - said: "My father and myself have decided to release a sum of €100 million from our Artemis funds [the family holding company] to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame."
François-Henri's donation comes as 'Frida' actress Salma, 52, took to Instagram on Monday to share an image of the burning iconic landmark, and shared her sadness with her followers.
She wrote: "As many others I'm in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre-Dame turn into smoke. I love you Paris. #notredame #paris. (sic)"
The message was then repeated in French
View this post on Instagram
As many others I’m in deep shock and sadness to witness the beauty of Notre-Dame turn into smoke. I love you Paris. Comme beaucoup d’autres, c’est avec effroi et tristesse que je regarde la beauté de Norte-Dame partir en fumée. Paris, je t’aime ! #notredame #paris
A post shared by Salma Hayek Pinault (@salmahayek) on
Salma and her spouse have a residence near the cathedral and were married in Paris on Valentines Day, February 14, in 2009 at the City Hall of the Sixth Arrondissement, which is less than a mile away from the historic church.
Meanwhile, a public fundraising drive for restorations to the building has been announced and will open on Tuesday, following a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron in which he confirmed the cathedral would be rebuilt.
He said: "The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn't fully won yet. It is with pride I tell you tonight we will rebuild this cathedral . . . we will rebuild Notre Dame because it is what the French expect of us, it is what our history deserves, it is, in the deepest sense, our destiny."