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French Billionaires Slow to Release Promised Donations to Rebuild Notre Dame

French Billionaires Slow to Release Promised Donations to Rebuild Notre Dame

French business moguls pledged more than $500 million.

France is slowly moving forward with its plans to restore the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, which was devastated in a fire that collapsed the roof this past April.

Nearly three months after a fire devastated Paris’s famed Notre Dame Cathedral, France’s National Assembly moved closer to enacting legislation to approve the restoration process and timeline for one of the world’s most beloved landmarks.

By a vote of 32 in favor, 7 against, and 8 abstentions, the country’s primary legislative body voted on Wednesday to adopt a resolution that establishes a national plan for accepting donations toward the rebuilding efforts and adheres to French President Emmanuel Macron’s intent to have the work done before Paris plays host to the Olympics in 2024.

This marked the second time the bill came before the National Assembly for consideration after a contentious hearing in May, which did not get the necessary votes to pass, and a vote by the French senate in June.

When plans were being drawn up for the massive restoration project, there was some debate as to whether the new design would reflect modern tastes. After a massive public outcry against this idea, the French Senate voted wisely.

[T]he French Senate approved a bill, created and already approved by the National Assembly, that would allow Notre Dame to be restored before Paris hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics. However, the Senate added a clause stipulating that the landmark must be restored to “its last known visual state,” and removed a clause that would have given the government the power to override planning regulations.

Immediately after the incident, several French billionaires promised to provide significant funding to begin the rebuilding efforts. However, they are slow to release the monies.

They were quick to pledge but are slow to give. The billionaire families that promised to donate hundreds of millions of dollars each to reconstruct Notre Dame cathedral after the storied structure caught fire in April have yet to fully uphold those commitments, according to a cathedral spokesperson. That’s the case, even though some French tycoons’ fortunes having grown dramatically during the first part of the year.

The 14 people from France who earned spots on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index — a number of whom raced to support reconstruction efforts in April — have collectively become $78 billion more wealthy since Dec. 31. Yet while French business moguls pledged more than $500 million to the Notre Dame rebuilding cause, little of that money has landed in the state’s coffers.

Some have speculated that these wealthy donors would prefer to pay for the exciting, new features instead of the initial site remediation work. Additionally, the donors have concerns about where the monies would land.

This June, a small contingent of priests performed a Mass in front of Notre Dame’s altar. Some of the restoration work crew were also present. Everyone had to wear hard-hats, for protection against the potential for falling debris.

It appears that the hard-hat will continue to be part of their religious attire for some time to come.


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Bitterlyclinging | July 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

Billionaires getting a little pressure? From the same side that insisted there were no flashes occurring on the roof just minutes before the blaze broke out.
France has surrendered. There are no pictures of a sorrowful Frenchman, tears running down his cheeks, as he watched the Nazi Storm Troopers march by to mark the moment of surrender this time, but France has surrendered just as surely.
Where is the Twenty First Century’s Charles DeGaulle? We know there’s some of that left in the gene pool. Where is it?

La Pen

All chapeau, non bovins?

They probably thought other peoples money would show up in massive quantities and they’d escape notice.

The French are very very strong. They can hold their hands above their heads for a very long time!

The French are selling military weapons, dropped once never been fired!

French tanks for sale, one forward and 4 reverse gears!

The easy part is completed, it’s conversation. All talk. The next is difficult: Do!

OleDirtyBarrister | July 10, 2019 at 11:33 am

The inaction can be viewed in two ways. One is that talk is cheap and they never meant what they said.

The other is that they live in a socialist environment everyday in which others are trying to take what they have and redistribute it and they also live in a big government culture of corruption, bribes, and grift and they are smart enough to wait for legal strictures and assurances to be put in place before they let their money go to the vultures. Keep in mind that some of the proposals to rebuild the cathedral entailed significant changes to the building. What was the real agenda behind that?

Perhaps they are actually a little more wise and discerning than we give them credit for being and foreign donors should be equally circumspect.