I was reading many comment online that express shock on how 1billion € was raised for Notre Dame in a matter of few days while there are people who have hard time reaching the end of the month.
This makes sense on the surface but when you go into details it starts to make less sense.
For sure there should be a way to help poor people in dire conditions.
But in a country like France many people pay high taxes for the government which in part goes to help those in need.
So the rest of the money of those people are their own property and they are free to use it the way they like, this is what is related to personal freedom that everyone and is guaranteed by the constitution.
Now for the most important part.
According to 2015 data(L'impôt en chiffres.)
there are in France 34millions taxable households, only 17millions pay taxes.
So let's say among these 17millions who do not pay taxes, 5millions are really in need.
The one time 1billion € over 5millions gives 200€ for each, which is really peanuts and won't help them more than few days, and then what ??
So the solution is not by taking this 1billion and distribute it to those in need, but to work on the economy in a way to allow those people to have real jobs that will help them support themselves on the long run.
Ok, so what if you took the 1 Billion and created a training centers, rehabilitation centers, food banks, child care and wellbeing centers, support centers? for example. Would that not provide help and support? This is a more appropriate example than the one you provided and is a better contrast between spending this 1 billion to renovate a relic, versus improving lives. So the argument does have legs.
I personally think that people should be able to chose what they do with their money, so I am 100% ok with donating 10 Billions to Notre Dame.