FAST FIVE: French Billionaires Waffle On Notre Dame Rebuild As US Donors Foot The Bill

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Francois Pinault of Artemis, the parent company of Kering that owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, promised 100 million euros, while Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French energy company Total, said his firm would match that figure.

-Associated Press Finot says the donors are holding out to see how the reconstruction plans are coming along and will fight over contracts.  In reality, boots have been on the ground for weeks, with work continuing around the clock according to AP. Without a legal method to pay the workers, the cathedral has been relying on the charity foundation to fund the cleanup and phase-one of the reconstruction.  Founded in 2017, the Friends of Notre Dame de Paris said that an estimated 90% of its donations came from Americans.  “Americans are very generous toward Notre Dame and the monument is very loved in America.

Jean-Louis Georgelin to manage the reconstruction. Critics say the timeline is unrealistic.  Billionaires respond Responding to AP, representatives from the billionaire donors confirmed that they're basically unwilling to contribute anything until designs are decided on, contracts are drawn up, and work is in progress.  Francois-Henri Pinault and his wife, actress Salma Hayek, pose for photographers at the Cannes film festival in 2015.

(Thibault Camus/AP) A spokesman for the Pinault Collection acknowledged that the Pinault family hadn't yet handed over any money despite the progress of works, blaming that on a delay in contracts.

It's our function as the intermediary to know that the money is directed in line with the donor's wishes,” added Heritage Foundation director Verot.  Of course, it wouldn't take much to chip off a few million to pay the workers currently on-site before contracts are inked and plans are in motion.  In short, wealthy French donors want their money to be spent on the 'long-lasting, immortalizing structures' and not the historical footnote of cleaning up the cathedral. .

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