Collector François Pinault, Son Pledge $113 M. Toward Rebuilding Notre-Dame Cathedral -ARTnews

Collector François Pinault, Son Pledge $113 M. Toward Rebuilding Notre-Dame Cathedral -ARTnews

François-Henri Pinault and his father François Pinault.


Just hours after the Cathedral de Notre-Dame in Paris caught fire, the French collector François Pinault and his son François-Henri Pinault have pledged to put €100 million (about $113 million) toward rebuilding the Gothic structure. According to Buzzfeed News, the funds will come from Groupe Artemis, a French holding company that owns the auction house Christie’s, among other companies.

The news comes after French president Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild Notre-Dame. He told a crowd on Monday night that he would launch a fundraising campaign, but did not provide details.

Pinault is widely considered a major force in the French art world. He has been listed on the “ARTnews Top 200 Collectors” each year since 1995 and has amassed a collection that includes notable works by Damien Hirst, Urs Fischer, Takashi Murakami, and many more. In addition to owning the Punta della Dogana and the Palazzo Grassi, two art institutions in Venice, Pinault is expected to open a private museum in Paris.

Notre-Dame was set ablaze on Monday evening, causing large parts of the cathedral to burn. Though the fire has since been contained, the damage has been done—a spire was destroyed, and two-thirds of the cathedral’s roof was “ravaged,” according to one official. An investigation into the fire’s source has been launched, and its early findings have suggested that a renovation project may have somehow led to the flames.

[Read about how experts responded to the fire at Notre-Dame.]

It is not clear whether the artworks inside Notre-Dame have been harmed by the fire, though some experts have already cast doubt on whether the building will ever be the same. On early Tuesday morning, officials said the blaze was “partially extinguished, with “residual fires” still in need of being put out.

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