France Promises To Rebuild Devastated Notre Dame Cathedral After Fire
Fundraising efforts have immediately begun in France and overseas towards efforts to rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
President Emmanuel Macron said France would launch a campaign to rebuild the cathedral, including through fundraising efforts and by appealing to "talents" from overseas to contribute.
"We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come," a visibly moved Macron said.
The New York-based French Heritage Society and the GoFundMe crowdsourcing platform were among the first to offer help for a cathedral that is a must-see destination for visitors to Paris.
But Scott Morrison has scotched the idea of having a government-backed Australian fund, as raised by his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, saying the French can pay for it themselves.
"I'm sure that President Macron is able to deal with this as is the Catholic Church and, if individual Australians want to do something, well, it's a free country -- they can do whatever they like," he told reporters in the Victorian seaside town of Torquay.
"We're not making a government fund."
Earlier, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had no doubt many Australians would want to chip in.
"Absolutely, if money is going towards the restoration and Australians who want to contribute can, that is to be supported," he told ABC TV.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said he thinks "Australia should contribute to a restoration fund."
"Notre Dame doesn't just belong to Paris or France, it belongs to the world. I think we, all of us who've enjoyed that architecture, that history, we too should perhaps rally around and help Paris and Notre Dame."
More than 50 campaigns related to the cathedral fire had been launched globally on Monday, GoFundMe spokesperson John Coventry said.
Some of the campaigns had not listed any money raised by late Monday, and several joke campaigns were created to help Quasimodo, the fictional character in Victor Hugo's 19th century novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
French luxury goods magnate Francois-Henri Pinault will contribute 100 million euros ($A158 million) towards the rebuilding of the cathedral, news agency AFP reported.
"Faced with such a tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back as soon as possible to this jewel of our heritage," Pinault wrote in a press statement.
Pinault is president and chief executive of the luxury goods firm Kering, which owns brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. The contribution will come from the Pinault family's investment firm.
A host of world leaders, celebrities and millions more worldwide also reacted to the catastrophic fire.
US President Donald Trump said: "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"
Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Notre Dame showed that humans could "unite for a higher purpose".
"My heart goes out to Paris," she tweeted.
"Notre Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose -- to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own.
"I wish France strength and shared purpose as they grieve and rebuild."
UK Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: "My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral."
Leaders of the European Union shared thoughts on the news, with European Council president Donald Tusk tweeting: "We are all with Paris today."
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker described the fire as a "horror".
In a press release written in French, Juncker said: "I am minute by minute the fire of which Notre Dame de Paris is the prey.
"Our Lady of Paris belongs to the whole of mankind. What a sad spectacle. What a horror.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "Our hearts are with the people of France. I first saw Notre Dame in my twenties as a tourist. It is breathtaking."
Several celebrities also responded, with Cher saying she was "praying for Notre-Dame" and "will never forget those with the spirit Of La Marseillaise".