Happy Earth Day!
The news out of Paris about the fire that destroyed Notre Dame has gotten crazier than I would have thought……
First, the conspiracy that it was a cover-up of a terrorist attack……this is silly….there have been several attacks in France and they were not “covered up”…
Next as the donations pour inthere is a bit of controversy…..
The $1 billion raised to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral is now receiving a dose of controversy. The Washington Post is among several outlets reporting that criticism is mounting in regard to income inequality about the large donations that came from billionaires like Francois-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault. While most want to see Notre Dame restored to its former glory or beyond, critics see the donations as proving “social problems could be quickly addressed if the wealthy were motivated to do so,” per USA Today. “If two men … can provide [$337 million] to restore Notre Dame, within six hours, then there is enough money in the world to feed every mouth, shelter every family and educate every child,” writes Carl Kinsella at Joe.ie. “The failure to do so is a matter of will, and a matter of system.”
Adds journalist Simon Allison, who is based in South Africa: “In just a few hours today, 650 million euros was donated to rebuild Notre Dame. In six months, just 15 million euros has been pledged to restore Brazil’s National Museum. I think this is what they call white privilege.” Critics were pointing to other examples, including the need for money to ease the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Though the French government usually grants corporations a 60% tax deduction on culture donations, Pinault and Arnault say won’t get any such deduction. “It’s pretty dismaying to see that in France you are criticized even for doing something for the general interest,” Arnault says, per Reuters. It’s “an act, which in many other countries, we’d be congratulated for.”
(Now we know why Apple has donated so much, right?)
As usual everyone is looking for the cause of the fire……and culprit may have been found……a computer?
…. the cathedral’s rector said a “computer glitch” may have been behind the blaze, though Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate. “We may find out what happened in two or three months,” he told local business leaders. The fire burned through the centuries-old oak beams supporting the vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. The neighborhood was blocked off as stones continued to tumble off the sides of the cathedral.
Investigators said an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire. The Parisien newspaper has reported that a computer glitch might have misdirected firefighters responding to the initial alarm. The unsourced report said investigators are also looking into whether the fire was linked to temporary elevators being used in a renovation. Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as “well protected.” As Catholics carried out the Way of the Cross ritual near the cathedral to mark Good Friday, President Emmanuel Macron met with officials from the United Nations’ cultural agency. UNESCO representatives have offered their technical expertise to help with the reconstruction
Now for some good news from the fire of the century……
The 180,000 bees that live in three hives in the cathedral’s roof have been discovered alive, Nicolas Geant, the monument’s beekeeper said.
“I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,” he said.
Mr Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
I am sure there will be more news as the situation develops and IST will be there to report the findings……