$1 billion in Notre Dame donations: Philanthropy or rich patrons seeking praise?
With wealthy donors giving a billion dollars to restore Notre Dame following the devastating fire, some have been left asking why the money only comes after tragedy strikes. RT guests debate the Notre Dame patrons’ priorities.
“Two years ago you couldn’t get a crumb out of [the billionaires]”, argues journalist and social commentator Sonia Poulton. When Notre Dame was dilapidated and crumbling in a less-newsworthy way, these same rich donors were nowhere to be found, she noted. Poulton believs the billionaires are “show-ponying” trying to outbid one another, but only because there are laurels to be won. Meanwhile, these same figures still won’t lift a finger to help handle worsening economic issues in France including a steep rise in homelessness.
Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram
'Notre-Dame needs a roof, we need a roof too!’ Dozens of homeless people protested outside the gutted Notre Dame in response to donors pledging almost £1 billion to rebuild the famous cathedral and its destroyed roof. They chanted slogans and held placards saying “Notre Dame burning = €1 billion in 24 hours. Homeless = €0,” directed at Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury group LVMH who last week pledged £173 million.
Former Republican US state senator John Loudon, on the other hand, says that critics have no right to tell others what to do with their money, regardless of how they think it should be spent. Arguing that France faces large numbers of vandalized churches every year, he believes it's “a beautiful thing” that people are willing to spend their own money to help rebuild and restore.
What we should be worried about is Christian churches targeted around the world.
Should the Catholic Church and French government be picking up the tab for Notre Dame disaster, or are things better left in private hands? Watch the full debate on RT.