​Anonymous Issues Message To Billionaires Who Donated Money To Notre-Dame

Hacktivist group Anonymous has issued a statement to the billionaires who donated money to the Notre-Dam cathedral, following the major fire that ravaged the 850-year-old building on 15 April.

In the wake of the tragic fire, the wealthy began to make extravagant donations towards rebuilding the famous landmark, including a €200 million (£170m) pledge from France's richest man, Bernard Arnault, and 100m (£86m) from Gucci boss François-Henri Pinault.

François-Henri Pinault. Credit: PA
François-Henri Pinault. Credit: PA

Anonymous said that such generous donations were 'admirable', but that the 'selective charity' had also opened people's eyes to the 'misplaced priorities of the ruling class'.

The message was posted on the Anonymous website, and 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 fire took place on 15 April. Credit: PA
The fire took place on 15 April. Credit: PA

The message also urged the wealthy to rethink their priorities, and to consider other issues currently taking place around the globe.

"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 had broken out at around 6.40pm on Monday 15 April.

Hundreds of firefighters managed to save Notre-Dame's structure and towers, and all precious artefacts and artwork were also kept safe from the blaze.

However, the roof and spire eventually collapsed and the damage inside the building was widespread.

The destruction inside the Notre Dame. Credit: PA
The destruction inside the Notre Dame. Credit: PA

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the 850-year-old landmark, saying 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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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