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Sat Apr 20, 2019, 06:18 PM

Billionaires raced to pledge money to rebuild Notre Dame. Then came the backlash.

PARIS — The eventual reconstruction of Notre Dame is now a foregone conclusion. Within hours of the fire that destroyed much of the cathedral on Monday, donors pledged more than $1 billion to restore the Parisian icon to its former glory.

Even before the smoke had cleared, luxury goods magnate Francois-Henri Pinault announced his family would donate 100 million euros ($112 million) to the effort. Not to remain on the sidelines, his rival Bernard Arnault — the chief executive of LVMH and the richest man in Europe — pledged twice that amount on Tuesday morning. The Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L’Oreal, quickly matched that pledge. And Patrick Pouyanne, chief of executive of French oil giant Total, offered another $112 million.

Officials are still assessing the extent of the damage, so the cost of Notre Dame’s reconstruction remains unknown, but these and the many other donations coming in should pretty well cover it. In the meantime, the cascade of cash that materialized overnight to save the cathedral has raised eyebrows in France, still in the throes of a crippling protest over rising social inequality and whose leader is regularly decried as the “president of the rich.”

“Of course, I find it nice, this solidarity,” said Ingrid Levavasseur, a leader of the yellow vest movement that has protested inequality in a series of often violent Saturday demonstrations since mid-November. The stream of donations essentially confirmed the movement’s broader social critique, Levavasseur said.

“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,” Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT trade union, said on Wednesday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/billionaires-raced-to-pledge-money-to-rebuild-notre-dame-then-came-the-backlash/2019/04/18/7133f9a2-617c-11e9-bf24-db4b9fb62aa2_story.html?utm_term=.be54ddab9474

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Reply Billionaires raced to pledge money to rebuild Notre Dame. Then came the backlash. (Original post)
ansible Apr 20 OP
robbedvoter Apr 20 #1
Major Nikon Apr 20 #3
meadowlander Apr 20 #2

Response to ansible (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 06:53 PM

1. I had the same thought. I am however not interested in those right wingers opinions

yellow vests are to the far right of Tea party

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Response to robbedvoter (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 08:29 PM

3. I know of no tea party loons calling for a wealth tax and higher minimum wages

So while some of their positions are decidedly right wing and populist, they are nothing like the tea party loons.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 06:59 PM

2. +1. Nobody ever asks "Where are we going to find the money to fight this war

or give this tax cut to the rich?"

While they do get points for donating money to respect a historic site (and note the thousands of billionaires who aren't offering a dime) it is totally valid to ask why we as a society have so many people sitting around who can scratch up hundreds of millions for this but not to feed, house or clothe at risk kids or rebuild essential infrastructure or improve schools.

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