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Millions donated to rebuild Notre Dame after blaze

Millions of euros have been donated to rebuild France’s Notre Dame Cathedral after a catastrophic blaze destroyed its roof.

The billionaire husband of actress Salma Hayek pledged €100 million to help.

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault made the announcement just hours after a huge fire engulfed the 850-year-old landmark in the heart of Paris yesterday.

Pinault is the chief executive of Kering, which owns brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame with help from the international community.

And as the fire spread, he tweeted: ‘Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thoughts go out to all Catholics and all of France. Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn.’

The Vatican expressed its ‘incredulity’ and ‘sadness’ at news of the fire.

In Washington, Donald Trump tweeted: ‘So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.’

Senior fire officers confirmed the stone structure had been saved after a huge blaze engulfed the 12th century landmark, causing its main spire and roof to collapse.

Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet said ‘we can consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved’ as well as the two towers.

The cathedral is one of Europe’s most-visited landmarks.

In 2018, around 13 million people visited the church as tourists, rather than worshippers.

The cathedral, one the finest example of French Gothic architecture in Europe, is located at the centre of the French capital in the Middle Ages and its construction was completed in the mid-14th century after some 200 years of work.