France's richest man has donated €200 million ($335m) towards the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, doubling the donation of Salma Hayek's husband.

Head of the LVMH luxury goods group and multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault instantly became the biggest benefactor of an appeal launched by President Emmanuel Macron.

The same day of the horror blaze that took nine hours for firefighters to extinguish, chief executive of Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, who is married to Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, pledged €100m ($167m) towards the rebuild of the Cathedral.

Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene Arnault. Photo / AP
Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene Arnault. Photo / AP

However, in statement LVMH group revealed their donation would double that.

Advertisement

"The Arnault family and the LVMH group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are associated with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity," the company said.

"In the meantime, the LVMH Group puts at the disposal of the state and the concerned authorities all its teams, creative, architectural, financial, to help the long work of reconstruction on the one hand, and of fundraising on the other hand."

Actress Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault. Photo / AP
Actress Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault. Photo / AP

France's Heritage Foundation has launched a "national collection" on its website.

Also, the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valerie Pecresse has unveiled a budget of €10m (16.7m) for emergency aid to assist the archdiocese at the beginning of construction.

"This reconstruction, which will obviously be very expensive, will mobilise a whole country," she said.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said she wanted to organise an international conference of donors and welcomed experts who are able to raise funds.

French President Emmanuel Macron, centre, and his wife Brigitte walk away from Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Photo / AP
French President Emmanuel Macron, centre, and his wife Brigitte walk away from Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Photo / AP

The donations have come after a visibly emotional French President Emmanuel Macron spoke outside the cathedral and called on the world's "greatest talents" to help as a national fundraising campaign is being launched to restore Notre Dame.

"Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives," Macron told reporters in front of the still burning Paris landmark," he said.

"Notre Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people. But tonight, I'd like to speak of hope too.

"Let's be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we've built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together," he added

Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris. Photo / AP
Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris. Photo / AP

Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet revealed the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved and that is appears two main towers of the building had now been saved.