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Rebuilding in Paris

Managers step up to help reconstruct Notre Dame

Firefighters in Paris work to save Notre Dame Cathedral.

Money managers and banking groups committed about €50 million ($56 million) to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire wreaked havoc on the 856-year-old Paris monument.

The fire that broke out in the evening hours of April 15 destroyed the church's spire and most of its roof. But French authorities were able to salvage Notre Dame's 13th-century stone construction, twin bell towers, rose windows and pipe organ.

Rebuilding Paris' iconic landmark is estimated to take at least five years. To help with the process, many French financial services firms contributed to a fund that will finance the renovations. BNP Paribas SA contributed €20 million, AXA Group pledged €10 million and Societe Generale Group also added €10 million to the fund that is estimated to have raised more than €1 billion from high-net-worth individuals and corporations.

International firms also took an interest in helping with the rebuilding. Among the donors were KKR & Co. Inc. co-CEO and co-Chairman Henry R. Kravis and his wife, Josee, who said in a statement April 16 that they were "saddened by the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, like all of France and the rest of the world." To help with the reconstruction, the couple decided to contribute $10 million.