The Latest: LVMH chief pledges 200 million for Notre Dame
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the fire that swept through Paris' Notre Dame cathedral (all times local):
French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH have pledged 200 million euros ($226 million) for the reconstruction of Notre Dame, following a reported 100 million-euro donation from another French billionaire, Francois Pinault.
A statement Tuesday from LVMH said the luxury goods group and the Arnault family would make the donation to a rebuilding fund for the cathedral, which was consumed by flames Monday evening.
LVMH called the cathedral a "symbol of France, its heritage and its unity."
The Pinault family's earlier 100 million-euro donation was widely reported by French media.
A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire.
Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.
Speaking Tuesday, he said the cathedral's roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century."
He said the restoration work will have to use new technologies to rebuild the roof.
Experts are assessing the blackened shell of Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral to establish next steps to save what remains after a devastating fire destroyed much of the almost 900-year-old building.
With the fire that broke out Monday evening and quickly consumed the cathedral now under control, attention is turning to ensuring the structural integrity of the remaining building.
Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez announced that architects and other experts would meet at the cathedral early Tuesday "to determine if the structure is stable and if the firefighters can go inside to continue their work."
Officials consider the fire an accident, possibly as a result of restoration work taking place at the global architectural treasure, but that news has done nothing to ease the national mourning.