April 15 marked one of the most blazing days in European history, quite literally. Notre Dame, the 856-year-old Cathedral building, could be seen burning all over Paris. Donations started pouring in worldwide as millions watched the historic building crumble. Leading donations were made before the fire was even extinguished. CEO Bernard Arnault, behind LVMH group, and Bettencourt Meyers’ family, who own the company, L’Oréal, pledged over $565 million in donations. The Pinault family over Kering SA, as well as an oil and gas company Total S.A has pledged over $100 million each in donations. In less than two days, the world watched the donations from billionaires hit a $700 million mark. Then questions started getting asked.
Many people have raised the argument that the treatment for Notre Dame which has raked in over a billion dollars is not being shown to social issues. A few people are arguing that there are other groups/causes who have received little donations that need the money more. Some of these include: the Native American Sacred lands destroyed, climate change, African country aid, historically black Louisiana churches in arson attacks and even the homelessness in Paris! Many see President Macron as a part of the problem as the yellow vest movement has been protesting social inequality in the country. With the 21 percent raise in homelessness many wonder if the wrong things are being prioritized.
Critics are urging people to look at the amount of wealth a few have could be used to help purge the world of many dire issues. Notre Dame has not started only one fire but has indeed sparked a fire in the debate of wealth again.