French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday after the Paris landmark was partially gutted in a devastating fire.
"We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come," Macron said at the scene of the smoldering 12th-century Gothic cathedral.
Read more: Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral devastated by massive fire
Main structure intact
Macron said the "the worst had been avoided" after firefighters managed to contain the fire following a collapse of the spire and the wooden roof structure went up in flames. Miraculously, only a small part of the vault appeared to have collapsed into the interior and firefighters were able to save valuable relics and pieces of art.
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 rectangular towers.
Macron appeals to the world
Describing Notre Dame as "the epicenter of our life," Macron announced a fundraising campaign would begin Tuesday and called on the world's "greatest talents" to help rebuild the cathedral.
French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, immediately pledged €100 million ($113 million) towards "the effort necessary to completely rebuild Notre Dame."
The CEO of the Kering group, which owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses, said the money would be paid by the Pinault family's investment firm, Artemis.
Investigators are unsure what caused the fire, but the cathedral was undergoing renovation work, which local media cited as one potential cause of the blaze.
cw/kl (AFP, AP, Reuters)
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