In the aftermath of the massive fire that gutted the Notre-Dame cathedral last April 15, waves of sympathy and support started pouring in from around the world.
Yet the wealthy did more than just offer words, they offered a fraction of their massive wealth to rebuild the 850-year-old building.
This includes a $220m pledge from France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, and $111m from Gucci boss François-Henri Pinault.
But hacktivist group Anonymous had a message for these billionaires, saying that while the donations were “admirable,” their “selective charity” also highlighted the “misplaced priorities of the ruling class.”
The message, which was posted on the Anonymous website, read: “It is admirable that you were willing to reach into your pockets during a time of national crisis (if you want to call it that), but now the people of the world are wondering why you don’t show this type of compassion when people’s lives are actually at stake.
“Luckily, no one was hurt during this week’s fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, France. Yet, the partial loss of a historical building has gathered more donations than any natural disaster or poverty crisis in the past several years.
“This selective charity has opened the eyes of the people of the world to the misplaced priorities of the ruling class. It is now obvious that you care more about symbols of your cultural power than you do about human lives or the very planet that we live on.”
The group also urged the wealthy to reconsider their priorities and to ponder other issues that are affecting other places around the world.
“The massive financial inequality on this planet makes the world a more difficult place to live for you just as much as it does for us,” they added.
“Take a moment to re-examine your priorities and take a look at the serious injustices taking place around the world and see how the burning of the Notre-Dame cathedral pales in comparison to these tragedies.
“Perhaps then you will be ready to use the wealth that you have attained in this world to achieve positive things.”
The fire started around 6:40 pm on April 15, a Monday.
Hundreds of firefighters worked tirelessly to save the cathedral’s structure and towers and successfully saved all precious artifacts and artwork. However, the interior damage was extensive and the roof and spire eventually collapsed.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the iconic landmark, adding that the “worst has been avoided.”
“We’ll rebuild this cathedral all together and it’s undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we’ll have for the coming years,” he said.
“That’s what the French expect because it’s what our history deserves.”
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