Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand 'a roof too'

Dozens of social housing activists have gathered in protest outside gutted Notre Dame in Paris to demand France's poorest be remembered after rich donors pledged around a $1 billion to rebuild the cathedral and its destroyed roof

PARIS -- Dozens of public housing advocates protested outside the gutted Notre Dame in Paris Monday to demand that Frances poorest be remembered after donors pledged 1 billion to rebuild the cathedral and its destroyed roof.

Around 50 people from a French homeless association gathered with placards reading 1 billion in 24 hours. They chanted slogans directed at Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury group LVMH, who last week pledged 200 million euros (226 million). Some chanted Notre Dame needs a roof, we need a roof too!

We are here ... to somewhat denounce these billionaires who show off by funding Notre Dames rebuilding, Jean-Baptiste Eyraut, the spokesman for the Right To Housing association, told The Associated Press.

Paris police monitored the peaceful protest on the central Paris island on which Notre Dame is located but didnt intervene, and the protest dispersed after several hours.

In addition to Arnaults pledge, another billionaire, Francois Pinault, and his son pledged 100 million euros for the reconstruction effort from their holding company Artemis, which owns the Christies auction house and is the main shareholder in Gucci.

He added: The poor and the homeless are at home here (in Notre Dame)... They can always go and get warm in a church and they know they wont be kicked out.

Milos Krivokapic contributed to this report

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