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Notre Dame fire: LVMH pledges €200m to repair historic cathedral

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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 firms architects and creative team will also help repair the building.

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Pictures from last night show the 19th-century spire ablaze, it later collapsed through the roof (Source: Getty)

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.

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Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze last night (Source: Getty)

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.

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The fire seemed to start on the roof and then spread into the cathedral's innards (Source: Getty)

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. ReportsRead More – Source
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