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WorldNotre Dame may have too much money after billionaires and others rushed to pledge

16:48  25 april  2019
16:48  25 april  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Silver lining: Late art historian's work, 'Assassin's Creed' video game could help rebuild Notre Dame

Silver lining: Late art historian's work, 'Assassin's Creed' video game could help rebuild Notre Dame French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was devastated by a massive fire Monday. 

And then, very much on the other end of the spectrum, there are The reconstruction of Notre Dame , French economists now say, may be one of them. The figures raised new eyebrows in France, after billionaires who rushed to save the historic cathedral faced a backlash over their donations all week.

To which anyone surveying the Notre Dame debacle might advise the son of God to get a better brand manager. Because the billionaires who promised those vast sums have received all the credit while not giving more than a fraction of the money . Perhaps I and others have got this all wrong.

There are urgent causes for which aid groups have for years failed to collect enough money: The plight of Iraqi Christians, for instance; or food for those suffering through what the U.N. has called the “world’s worst famine in 100 years,” in Yemen.

And then, very much on the other end of the spectrum, there are funding campaigns that don’t only meet their targets, but overshoot them within days.

How to rebuild a gothic cathedral: A look at the Notre Dame restoration process

How to rebuild a gothic cathedral: A look at the Notre Dame restoration process Rebuilding Notre Dame will take years. Yet, for a structure that took decades to construct, and then stood for centuries more, this may simply mark the latest evolution of a building that has been reshaped many times during its 850-year history. Those looking for hope amid tragedy will be heartened by president Emmanuel Macron's assurance that the French will "rebuild together," and immediate fundraising efforts leading to pledges of 50 million euros ($56 million) and 200 million euros ($226 million) from Paris' City Hall and the luxury goods and fashion house LVMH, respectively.

Ordinary people and billionaires have pledged at least €750m (£650m; 5m) in the 10 days. Who raised the money ? Notre - Dame de Paris was built 850 years ago and has played a role in key For others , however, the generosity shown towards the Notre - Dame was befitting of its history and status

Firefighters assess Notre - Dame 's famous rose window after the fire. Credit:AP. "If they can give tens of millions to rebuild Notre - Dame , then they should stop telling Notre - Dame offers a striking contrast: No one was killed, no one is starving, but philanthropists likely provided the full amount - if not more

The reconstruction of Notre Dame, French economists now say, may be one of them. The union of French construction economists, Untec, released preliminary numbers this week, indicating that the rebuilding efforts will cost between $330 million and $670 million, not including tax.

The calculation is not an official estimate and groups dedicated to preserving French cultural heritage cautioned that the final costs could be higher.

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The figures raised new eyebrows in France, after billionaires who rushed to save the historic cathedral faced a backlash over their donations all week. Depending on the estimate, between $835 million and more than $1 billion in donations have been pledged, with most of the money coming from some of France’s wealthiest families.

Fate of Priceless Cultural Treasures Uncertain After Notre-Dame Fire

Fate of Priceless Cultural Treasures Uncertain After Notre-Dame Fire The fire that destroyed two-thirds of the roof of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday did more than damage a beloved historic landmark: It also endangered the vast collection of Christian relics and artworks housed in the building and on its grounds. 

Pledged donations from French billionaires , companies and ordinary citizens for the restoration of fire-ravaged Notre - Dame WATCH: Virtual tour of Notre Dame ’s storied architecture. The first major donation to Notre – Dame Others suggested the generosity was little more than smart marketing.

Pledged donations from billionaires , companies and citizens for the restoration of fire-ravaged Notre - Dame cathedral are People on social media, both in France and abroad, have expressed frustration that other disasters - from the Syrian and Iraq refugee crisis to the Grenfell Tower fire in

The first major donations were pledged before the fire had even been extinguished last Monday. Luxury goods magnate Francois-Henri Pinault said he would contribute $112 million, followed by his rival Bernard Arnault who announced a donation twice his competitor’s amount. Later on, L’Oreal’s Bettencourt Meyers family and the chief of executive of French oil giant Total announced similar contributions.

Notre Dame may have too much money after billionaires and others rushed to pledge© Thierry Mallet/AP In this April 15, 2019 photo, flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and prompted a frantic rescue effort to save its most precious artifacts. (AP/Thierry Mallet)

As the pledges were made, individuals associated with France’s wealthiest families argued the donations were tributes to the historical and cultural significance of Notre Dame.

The cause of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire remains unknown. Everything else is a rumor

The cause of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire remains unknown. Everything else is a rumor French officials have ruled out arson and terror-related motives, but conspiracy theorists are spreading misinformation about the Notre Dame fire.

Notre - Dame embodies millennia of French history, art and architecture. When it was almost lost to flames, France held its breath in horror – but why was this wave of grief felt so gravely across the Atlantic, too ? American citizens agreed: with their donations, many sent heartfelt, personal notes.

The Notre Dame fire on 15 April 2019: ‘As pictures of the inferno are beamed around the world, adjectives rain Perhaps I and others have got this all wrong. The billionaires could, with the flourish of a pen, pay up the money in full with no conditions. Charitable giving, too , has been Americanised.

Pinault’s wife, actress Salma Hayek, said the family understood “the importance of this spiritual, cultural and historical treasure from Paris to the world.”

But Paris is also a capital city with almost 30,000 homeless people, where only wealthy tenants can afford to live near the revered cultural treasures in the historic center. In some Parisian neighborhoods, more than 40 percent of all residents live below the poverty line. The wealthy central districts largely balance those inequalities out, which is why — at least on paper — Paris has an overall poverty rate of 14 percent that is on par with the French average.

France has some of Europe’s highest taxes and social inequalities are still less severe than in the United States, but anger over President Emmanuel Macron’s failure to reduce income gaps has mounted.

It hasn’t helped that the former investment banker and youngest-ever president in French history has often appeared out-of-touch with working class voters. Last year, in an incident widely mocked by opposition politicians, he told a man struggling to find work: “If you are ready and motivated, in the hotel industry, in cafes, restaurants, in construction, there is not a place where I go where I don’t get told, ‘We are looking for people.””

Notre Dame Reconstruction Effort Attracts Nearly $1 Billion

Notre Dame Reconstruction Effort Attracts Nearly $1 Billion More than 800 million euros ($920 million) has already been pledged for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral, according to French Culture Minister Franck Riester. The normal annual budget for restoring national monuments is about 300 million euros, he said. The immediate priority is to secure Notre Dame’s vault, which has a gaping hole in the middle after its spire collapsed during Monday night’s fire, Riester said in an interview on France2 television. Other quickly needed steps are removing melted statues that are weighing on fragile parts of the outer structure.

The north face of Notre - Dame cathedral after the fire.Credit Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA, via Pledges from France’s corporations and richest families to help rebuild Notre - Dame cathedral have So when the billionaires announced their generous donations to Notre - Dame , critics were quick to

And money from France’s billionaire class keeps raining down. In three days, the cathedral has been pledged € Few want to ask that question, nor the obvious follow-up about how much the mulltibillion-owning In other words, the French public should pay for most of its beloved billionaires ’ generosity.

In recent months, the anger over inequality and Macron’s perception as being a “president for the rich” spilled into the open, as the Yellow Vest movement took to the streets of France. While public support for the movement has faded amid outbreaks of violence during those rallies, Macron’s approval ratings have not improved and the movement’s original concerns are still shared by a large number of voters.

Notre Dame may have too much money after billionaires and others rushed to pledge© Kamil Zihnioglu/AP In this March 2, 2019 file photo, Yellow Vests protesters march on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Those tensions and the debate over the reconstruction of Notre Dame merged last week, when Macron personally promised during a TV address: “We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years.”

That promise sounded hollow to his critics, however, who recalled then-presidential candidate Macron vowing to “work for everyone,” back in 2017.

On Tuesday, anger swelled once again after a soccer fundraiser in the southern French city of Marseille was used to collect funds for Notre Dame. Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson later wrote on Twitter that she left the event in protest.

The money, she suggested, would have been better spent on children living in poverty.

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France Debates How to Rebuild Notre-Dame, Weighing History and Modernity.
Workers are still focused largely on shoring up the damaged structure, but how closely the planned reconstruction should adhere to the original design and materials has become a point of contention in a nation long accustomed to arguing over the balance between modernity and cultural heritage. President Emmanuel Macron gave the debate particular urgency when he said the cathedral would be rebuilt within five years, a time frame that some experts have called too optimistic. Mr. Macron said on Wednesday that he was not opposed to replacing the spire that collapsed in the blaze with “a contemporary architectural gesture.

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