Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 7 News List

France launches lottery to rescue its heritage sites


French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday launched a new lottery to raise funds for the restoration of endangered heritage sites, including an island fort in Brittany, a Roman aqueduct near Lyon and a disused sugar refinery on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte.

The lottery, inspired by the British national lottery’s heritage fund, is to take place in September and is expected to raise 15 million euros to 20 million euros (US$17.54 million to US$23.38 million).


Eighteen imperiled sites of historic, religious, architectural and cultural importance have been earmarked for the funds.

They include the home of poet and political activist Aime Cesaire (1913-2008) on the French Caribbean island of Martinique and the Burgundy castle of Count Roger de Bussy-Rabutin (1618-1693), who was banished from the court of King Louis XIV for exposing the trysts of fellow members of the nobility.


Players are to be able to choose between tickets for a jackpot of 13 million euros and scratch cards with a top prize of 1.5 million euros.

Macron launched the lottery while visiting with his wife Brigitte the home of Enlightenment writer and philosopher Voltaire in Ferney, on the Swiss border.

Voltaire’s chateau yesterday reopened to the public after a facelift that cost the state 9 million euros.

Macron, who has embarked on a cost-cutting drive, told residents in Ferney he was now asking heritage lovers to gamble on conservation to avoid increasing taxes.


A quarter of France’s listed monuments are in a bad state of repair, of which about 2,000 — or five percent — are endangered, French Minister of Culture Francoise Nyssen said.

The government has earmarked 326 million euros for heritage restoration and conservation this year, up five percent from last year.

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