Billionaires face backlash for Notre Dame donations

23 April 2019 - 11:52 By Odwa Mjo
French billionaires raised millions to rebuild Notre-Dame after the fire.
French billionaires raised millions to rebuild Notre-Dame after the fire.
Image: Fabien Barrau / AFP

The billionaires and companies that pledged millions towards rebuilding Notre Dame have received backlash for prioritising the historical cathedral. 

After a fire broke out at the iconic Notre Dame in Paris, France, last week, several billionaires pledged hundreds of millions of euros to help rebuild the cathedral. 

CNN reported that French billionaires and businesses have raised about $700m to help rebuild Notre Dame after the fire destroyed the roof, the spire and other parts of the building. 

François-Henri Pinault, who leads the international luxury brand Kering which houses Gucci, has pledged $113m, according to reports. 

Bernard Arnault, who owns luxury goods brands Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon, pledged about $225m.

Global oil and gas company Total has pledged 100m euros, while consulting and technology company Capgemini promised 1m euros, according to the CNN report. 

Cosmetics brand L'Oreal, together with the Bettencourt Meyers family, promised to donate $225m, Reuters reported.

The large donations were criticised with many questioning why Notre Dame was made a priority over other global issues. 


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