Odds and Ends

Notre Dame

The sight of the beautiful cathedral blazing was a shocking one. However, I wasn’t moved to write anything about it, until Jill Dennison’s post made me think. This is a part of her thought provoking post:

Within hours after the blaze, French tycoons had already pledged hundreds of millions of euros for restoration, as had some of the country’s best-known companies.

Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame shot to the top of the bestseller’s list, and the publishers of the French language editions pledged to donate all proceeds.  Apple chief Tim Cook pledged an unspecified sum and the Walt Disney Company, which turned Hugo’s Hunchback into a 1996 animated feature, said it would put up $5 million. The University of Notre Dame promised another $100,000.  The Bettencourt-Meyer family, the largest shareholder in the L’Oreal cosmetics empire, offered 200 million euros, while oil and gas producer Total pledged 100 million.

All great news, right?  I was happy … but then … a simple statement by CGT union (Confédération générale du travail) chief Philippe Martinez made me stop in my tracks … and think …

“In one click, 200 million, 100 million. That shows the inequality which we regularly denounce in this country. If they can give tens of millions to rebuild Notre-Dame, then they should stop telling us there is no money to help with the social emergency.”

Stop.  Listen.  Think.

Another example of how money is available, but not distributed in a fair and equitable way.

I encourage you to read all of her post:

By anne54

Botanic artist

13 replies on “Notre Dame”

Wouldn’t it be good if those rich donors would also pledge a dollar for the needy – the starving, for the sick and dying, for the rainforests destroyed through greed – for every dollar they pledge to rebuild this exquisite, inspirational building. A dollar for God, a dollar for God’s children, if you like.

Liked by 2 people

PLUS, I’ve been wondering why these ‘supporters’ didn’t contribute during the previous years of asking for funding in the ‘prevention’ of such an event – you know, the basic restoration fund.
Me thinks another aspect of ‘coming out to save the day’ after the fact is in the motivation of those rich care-takers – to be seen and looked upon as benevolent, kind, etc.
Oh well.

Liked by 1 person

It’s a disgrace really when you think of it. When you can 100 million for a building to be rebuilt you can give the same amount to charity ! But obviously rich people don’t think that way. Their brain doesn’t work like the brain of normal people.

Liked by 1 person

I like Kate’s idea of dollar for dollar, because I think we should be able to do both. I don’t begrudge money being spent on cultural matters, things that enhance our lives beyond the material. The wealthy certainly do have different motivations from the rest of us!


Why do we value things over people? Notre Dame is a beautiful historic site but I have also been struck by the ease with which people are rushing to give millions, even billions, to restoring it when the world is full of so much suffering, so much need. The economic inequality has always been there and I fear that it always will be. Can we at least hope that the insanely wealthy might get a grip on what really matters and start using their money to help others?


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