As the cost of Notre Dame’s reconstruction building remains unknown and officials still assessing the extent of the damage – there’s surplus funds enough to seal the Notre Dame project in Paris, and more wealthy families continue to show commitment.
With quick availability of cash, questions are being asked in Paris, France with the direct comparison being made to the ancient sites destroyed by the Islamic State in Syria which didn’t get much a global injection. “In the event that they can give several millions to reconstruct Notre Dame, at that point they should quit letting us know there is no cash to help with the social crisis,” Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT worker’s guild, said on Wednesday.
Another comparison was Brazil’s National Museum. A South African journalist Simon Allison tweeted – “In six months, just 15 million euros has been pledged to restore Brazil’s National Museum. I think this is what they call white privilege.”
Chief executive of LVMH and the richest man in Europe, Bernard Arnault, pledge 230 million Euros while the Francois-Henri Pinault family plan to donate 100 million euros to the reconstruction of the building. The L’Oreal owners, Bettencourt Meyers family, quickly matched that pledge. French oil giant Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne offered another $112 million.
The French are not sure if the President priorities are right between concern for the fate of beautiful monuments and concern for the struggles of the masses with paralysis protest everywhere to show their anger.
There was initial speculation that billionaire donors were contributing to Notre Dame to get liberal tax cut from the state. Normally, the French government permits companies a 60 percent expense reasoning on gifts made in the domain of culture.
Amid mounting criticism, both Arnault and Pinault has come out to defend their donation saying the intention was philanthropic and were not looking for tax benefits.
Arnault told investors that his family holding organization had just hit its roof on assessment findings for beneficent gifts.
“It’s an unfilled debate,” Arnault said. “It’s quite overwhelming to see that in France you are censured notwithstanding for accomplishing something for the general intrigue.”