Notre-Dame fire ignites debates on philanthropy

Laurence de Nervaux and Axelle Davezac

Almost as great as the outpouring to restore the cathedral of Notre-Dame has been the flood of controversy it has unleashed

On 15 April this year, a major fire broke out in Notre-Dame cathedral in the very heart of Paris. That same evening, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the launch of a national subscription to rebuild this gem of French history and heritage.

No more than 24 hours later, €850 million had already been pledged by a handful of billionaires, either in their names or through their companies or foundations. At the same time, Fondation de France was one of the four organisations charged by the French government with raising funds for Notre-Dame. As international media coverage was massive, donations also came from all over the world.

This episode was unprecedented in many ways.

 
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