Historical Preservation Meets Backlash



Jake Dailey, Website Editor

As Notre Dame burned and crumbled from a fire last week, suffering serious damage and losing its famous spire, people watched on unable to act. During the fire though, many of the rich families and individuals of France pledged millions to the reconstruction of the historic building.

The speed and amount that was pledged in such a short time angered many as they found it a perfect example for the inequality and care of the millionaires and billionaires of the world. As many projects struggle to raise the money they need, and some don’t receive any aid at all, some like the rebuilding of Notre Dame overshoot their mark by millions. The estimate pledged amount is from $835 million to $1 billion, with Notre Dame needing only $330 million to $670 million for repairs and restoration. This comes at a time as well where France has suffered turbulence with the Yellow Vest protestors and harsh criticizers of French President Emmanuel Macron, as he appears out of touch and uncaring about the country’s worker class. Macron pledged to have the building restored in five years, stating in a TV address, “We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully….”

Among other issues with the donations, one which sparked outrage in the U.S. was the pledge from the White House to help rebuild, as the infrastructure of roads and water desperately need upgrades and repair in many places in the U.S.A, Namely Flint, Michigan, which still suffers from deplorable water quality, and Puerto Rico, which received less aide than it needed after hurricane Maria.

While the historical preservation is a worthy cause, the interest of those donating should be more widespread according to many online.