The burning of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was indeed a real tragedy. It resonates not just for the French people but to people all over the world who appreciate history and culture.
The fire ravaged most of the roof and the spire. But as they say, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
Help came pouring in for the cathedral’s repair and at present, donations already amounted to an astounding $1 billion!
French President Emmanuel Macron swore to do all he can to have the Notre Dame restored and launched an international fundraising scheme for the cathedral’s repairs.
Included among the numerous donors are Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, who pledged €200 million ($226 million)…
…and Kering Chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, who pledged €100 million.
Other donors include FIMALAC CEO Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere and construction magnates Martin and Olivier Bouygues. They all donated €10 million. US private equity investor Henry Kravis pledged €9 million and Credit Agricole bank sent in €5 million.
Macron set a five-year old for this endeavor. “We’ll rebuild this cathedral all together and it’s undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we’ll have for the coming years.”
“We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it. It is up to us to change this disaster into an opportunity to come together, having deeply reflected on what we have been and what we have to be and become better than we are.”
“It is up to us to find the thread of our national project,’ he added, warning that the country should “not fall into the trap of haste,” but instead focus on what the tragedy brought out in Parisians. “What we saw last night in Paris was our capacity to mobilise and to unite.”
A debate has raged over the massive amount of donations for the cathedral’s restoration. A lot of people felt that the money would have been better off donated to other urgent causes. People think that the donations should be given to the fight against climate change or development aid for African countries.
Others felt that the money should be directed towards French citizens who are in poverty.
“If they can give tens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, then they should stop telling us there is no money to help with the social emergency,” says Philippe Martinez, who leads the General Confederation of Labor trade union.
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