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The Rebuilding of Notre Dame and it’s Billionaire Investment by Rafael de Goes

DISCLAIMER: MYP 4 students have submitted their Op-Eds to the St. Francis Post, below is one of the four chosen pieces that will be published. None of the opinions shared below reflect the beliefs of this newspaper and all articles have been edited for length and clarity.


A couple of weeks ago, a shocking event called my attention, the infamous fire at the Notre Dame church… Unfortunately what actually called my attention was not the fact that a historical monument became mostly ashes, but rather the whole hypocrisy that has been involved with the funding for Notre Dame.


Picture the following, you invite some friends to your house for lunch, at first everything seems perfect, they arrive, you greet them and they compliment you for the beautiful front porch and garden that you have, this compliment is well received by you since you wasted a lot of money rebuilding it. Things suddenly change when they go into your house, everything is a mess. Furniture is thrown everywhere, the maids and caterer you hired are madly screaming at each other, on the top floor your wife and children are having a huge discussion, everything is chaotic and everybody leaves. As if what happened inside was not enough, your guests face other problems outside, one of them is robbed, the other is harassed and the others face numerous more problems.


The burning of Notre Dame was essential to show how messed up France is right now, the incapability of Macron and his somewhat doubtful leadership to deal with the huge crisis involving taxes. To make the situation even worse we have millionaires competing to see who will “donate” more money to Notre Dame (which is already estimated to be around $1 billion). The rebuilding of Notre Dame is not what bothers me, what bothers me the most is that for many years thousands of groups trying to fund for either saving the marine life, cancer institutes, and other legitimate causes, that do not even come close to this amount of money, never in a few hours at least. Analysts say that Notre Dame doesn’t even need all this money, but people like Mr François-Henri Pinault likes to waste $112 million, meanwhile there are people in his own country fighting to try to pay their taxes or live below the poverty line or are even homeless (like 30,000 of them which live in the capital city of Paris).


Moving on from France, we have more pressing global issues, like mentioned before, with all that money it is possible to eradicate trachoma and almost completely end polio. Continuing the list, it is also possible to clean most of the Pacific ocean or help ‘Doctors without Borders’ provide care to about 348 million children, with antibiotics. With $1 billion, we can solve many issues that for years have affected mankind, the question is, are we not blind to see that this Notre Dame funding has only shown us, how ignorant we and mainly the billionaires and millionaires who funded a project are? Are we simply ignoring the fact that there are millions of other more important problems going on in the world?

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