On Monday (4.15), the world looked on in horror as Paris’ acclaimed Notre Dame cathedral fell victim to a raging blaze. Large portions of the church were saved, but much was lost. Fortunately, the French alcohol industry is stepping up to the challenge. Wine (and corporate) giants François Pinault and Bernard Arnault, pledged a combined €300 ($339) towards rebuilding on behalf of their families and companies.
Arnault is Chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. The M and the H respectively stand for Moet and Hennessy—just two of the multi-billion dollar conglomerate’s holdings across Champagne and Cognac… not to mention some Bordeaux properties like Chateau d’Yquem (oh, and also they own Louis Vuitton.)
Arnault pledged €200 million ($226 million) towards rebuilding. “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,” LVMH said in a statement.
The company also released an expression of solidarity via social media.
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Not to be outdone, François-Henri Pinault’s holding company Artemis owns the controlling stake in Kering. Fashionistas may know Kering for subsidiaries like Gucci and Alexander McQueen, but in the wine world, Kering is famed for their vineyards such as Château Latour and Clos de Tart.
Pinault promised €100 million (approximately $113 million) towards the effort.“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” said the mogul in a statement. “Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible.”
Plus, one of France’s top cooperages also pledged to help out. The Charlois Group, parent of 18 cooperages including Saury, Berthomieu, la Grange, and Leroi, promised to supply new oak to rebuild cathedral’s celebrated ceiling.