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Notre Dame is on fire !

Discussion in 'Personal' started by peakster, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    No glass roofs, no minarets, no towers that look like sex toys, no architects sharing their 'vision'.
    Just restore it to how it was before. That'll do fine.
    Dragonlady30 and lanokia like this.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Looks nice- American Tourists will love it.
    sodalime and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Do you get American Tourists any more ?
    sodalime likes this.
  5. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Bad Luck: Pope Francis Had Just Transferred All Records On Sex Abuse Scandal To Notre Dame For Safekeeping
    PARIS—Well, seems there was a bit of bad luck in the Notre Dame fire last week. While most of the relics, artwork, and idols were saved, one thing didn't survive: all the Catholic Church's meticulous records on its ongoing sex abuse scandals.

    Pope Francis had reportedly just transferred the files to Notre Dame for safekeeping just days before the fire broke out.

    "Oh well," Pope Francis said, shrugging. "How were we supposed to know it was going to burst into flames? We thought the Notre Dame cathedral would be the safest place for them."

    The files were placed in the most flammable parts of the building hours before it caught fire, unfortunately. Several volunteers attempted to pull the files out of the fire, but Catholic Church officials sent them away, telling them not to risk their lives for them.

    "It was a judgment call, but we care more about people's lives than the important work of bringing down sex offenders," one cardinal said. "Tough choice, but what are you gonna do?"

    At publishing time, the Pope had confirmed that all the files were also accidentally doused with lighter fluid just before the fire hit.
    lanokia likes this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

  7. fraisier

    fraisier Senior commenter

    Hmm, this is interesting from the excellent Le Canard Enchaîné, below (the Canard is the investigative weekly that, inter alia, in January-March 2017 broke out the series of damning revelations around François Fillon’s fraudulent activities - mainly providing fictitious employment for his British wife and the whole family, but also several cases of fraud, the Fillons are being prosecuted -, so slap bang during the presidential campaign; Fillon, the natural heir to Sarkozy and a former Prime Minister, is the rightwing politician who was almost certain to win the Presidential elections 2 years ago but went from 30% voting opinion (in the first round) before Christmas 2016 to about 22% in February post first wave of revelations; he got 20% in April and finished third – only the 2 candidates with the highest votes get through to the face-off round, in this case surprise package Macron, who fully benefited from Fillon's fall from grace and recorded 24%, and Marine Le Pen who got 21%).

    I can’t translate it as it’s too long but in a nutshell: they’ve massively cocked up and compromised safety, which is what many suspected (“they” being both the authorities and companies doing the renovation work on the steeple that caused the fired).

    Incendie de Notre-Dame de Paris : de multiples failles de sécurité relevées

    This is particularly appalling (if confirmed):

    Cloches électrifiées malgré le risque de court-circuit (the bells were electrified despite the risk of short circuits)

    Ouvriers qui fument sur les échafaudages (workers smoking on scaffolding)

    It's also been revealed by other newspapers that the main company doing most of the work on the steeple (Bras Frères, specialised in restoring old buildings) had a team on another building site who caused a fire only 3 weeks ago in Eastern France, in very similar circumstances (slow combustion, possibly a blowtorch not fully switched off after use). They accepted responsibility for that fire near Verdun straight away after inspection, but not (yet) for Notre Dame obviously as the complex investigations are only starting.
  8. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Sacre bleu! Et mon dieu! You couldn't make it up!
    sodalime likes this.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  10. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I really like that roof - but not on top of that building.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Yeah I'm in the same boat... nice roof, wrong place.
    sodalime likes this.
  12. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    On the day that the first mass since the fire (albeit on a very small scale) is being held in Notre Dame, a follow-up:


    "The billionaire French donors who publicly promised flashy donations totalling hundreds of millions to rebuild Notre Dame have not yet paid a penny toward the restoration of the French national monument, according to officials.

    Instead, it has been mainly American citizens, through the charitable foundation Friends of Notre Dame, who have footed the bills and paid salaries for up to 150 workers employed since the April 15 fire that devastated the cathedral’s roof and caused its famous spire to collapse.

    This month the foundation is handing over the first payment for the cathedral’s reconstruction of 3.6 million euros (£3.2 million).

    “The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent,” said Andre Finot, senior press official at Notre Dame.

    Francois Pinault of Artemis, the parent company of Kering which owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, promised 100 million euros (£90 million), while Patrick Pouyanne, chief executive of French energy company Total, said his firm would match that figure.

    Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury giant LVMH which owns Louis Vuitton and Dior, pledged 200 million euros (£180 million), as did the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation of the L’Oreal fortune.

    No money has been seen, according to Mr Finot, as the donors wait to see how the reconstruction plans progress and fight it out over contracts."​
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    sodalime likes this.
  13. sodalime

    sodalime Star commenter

    It's a very sad indictment of human behaviour, but some people make false promises in the heat of a moment (pun intended) that they want the initial glory for, but then they change their mind and slink away into the shadows.

    ETA: on a more cynical note, maybe they don't even change their minds
  14. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Didn't those big 'donations' come with strings such as a lot of owed tax written off?
  15. fraisier

    fraisier Senior commenter

    No they didn’t but there was controversy. In a nutshell, when these billionaire families (mainly Arnault, Pinault, Bettencourt) pledged to donate over half a billion €, they expected tax relief on that (as per the French legislation on donations, the standard is 60% tax relief on donations <€1,000, 66% for >€1,000 donations – exceptionally raised to 75% for Notre-Dame) but some, such as François-Henri Pinault, wanted additional tax relief, Pinault wanted 90% . There was a backlash and the 3 families then decided to forgo the tax relief on their donations, ex:


    I wrote a bit on the background of these donations, the controversy, the fiscal shenanigans etc. in posts #71, #72, #108, #136 and #149.
  16. fraisier

    fraisier Senior commenter

    Great initiative.

    This article (in French) explains the delay from the big French donors:

    […] Un décalage qui s’explique : les plus gros mécènes ne verseront leurs dons que petit à petit, comme certains l’avaient annoncé dès le début. Ainsi, la famille Arnault et son groupe LVMH (actionnaire du Parisien et des Echos), qui avait prévu de verser 200 millions d'euros, ou de la famille Pinault, qui avait promis 100 millions, attendent les devis des travaux de reconstruction. Une manière de contrôler leurs propres dons, au fil de l’évolution du chantier. Un moyen également d’éviter que l’Etat place cet argent, alors que les travaux n’ont pas encore commencé, et le fasse fructifier.

    In a nutshell, the main donors – the Arnault, Pinault and Bettencourt families who’ve collectively pledged €500 million – want to stagger their donations, they're planning to cough up as the work progresses and as estimates are released. The funds collected go into 4 different “buckets” as it were, 3 private ones and 1 state body, here below (€82m collected as of 14th June):


    This article (in English) has more.

    By and large anyway, French billionaires aren’t very generous, not for them the US-style approach of creating public-spirited foundations and funding charities. The main ones in this saga (the Pinaults and Arnaults) prefer to put their billions in art museums, arty stuff or vanity projects (there are a few exceptions of course, such as techie Xavier Niel – the co-owner of Le Monde, stonking new Le Monde headquarters opening later this year BTW, with cafés and restaurants for the public, a media centre, gardens open to all etc. – who’s put a lot of money into hi-tech Station F in north Paris, the world’s largest startup facility).

    Part of François-Henri Pinault’s vast private art collection is housed in 3 magnificent Venice palaces and various other art spaces. He’s opening later this year a beautiful (contemporary art) museum in Paris, https://www.boursedecommerce.fr/en/, a €150 million renovation of the old stock exchange in central Paris. Pinault is a discreet man and is more famous for being Salma Hayek’s husband than for being a very successful businessman.

    Arnault’s housed part of his collection in the spectacular Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton Foundation in West Paris (an art space & cultural centre, nearly €1bn spent. I recommend a visit BTW, if you’re near the Arc de Triomphe, there’s a free shuttle that takes you there, 2 miles away, nice ride).

    As for Françoise Bettencourt, 65, the only child of Liliane Bettencourt who died 2 years ago (L’Oréal), she lives an ascetic life and writes books on religion, and doesn’t spend or give away much of her €50 billion inherited fortune which is a great shame really.

    So yeah, they’re tight and probably complete control freaks!
    blazer and florian gassmann like this.

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