FACT CHECK: Does Emmanuel Macron Want The Rebuilt Notre Dame To Represent A More ‘Diverse’ France?

Aryssa Damron | Fact Check Reporter

UPDATE: After publication of this article, France 24 sent out a tweet confirming that the doctored image at the heart of this article was in fact fake and not sent out by its organization. 

An image shared Monday by the Facebook page Statist Zombies claimed that French President Emmanuel Macron said Notre Dame Cathedral would be rebuilt “in a way consistent with our modern diverse nation.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence of Macron saying the quote attributed to him. The Facebook page shared what appears to be a fake tweet purportedly from a French news service.

Fact Check:

France 24 was one of the news outlets to watch as the fire at Notre Dame burned Monday. It tweeted many times throughout the day, updating the world about the attempts to stop the fire.

The supposed tweet posted on Statist Zombies’ Facebook page does not appear on its timeline, though, and does not appear to have been deleted. When The Daily Caller searched for the phrase attributed to Macron in the tweet, it appeared only on sites like Reddit and Kiwi Farms that were re-sharing the same image. The quote did not appear in any news reports of the fire, and we could not find any footage of Macron making this comment.

While France 24 has not responded to the Caller’s request for comment, all of the images of the tweet are exactly the same, with a time stamp of 13 seconds after the tweet was posted. Despite the English account for France 24 having more than 200,000 Twitter followers, no screen grabs were found with a different time stamp.

The Catholic Herald published a piece on Tuesday that referenced the same unproven quote from Macron, but corrected its article after being asked by the Caller for a source.

Macron did make a statement about the rebuilding of the historic cathedral Monday while speaking to reporters. Emphasizing its historical significance, he said that Notre Dame is a part of France’s destiny and will be rebuilt by the entire nation. He also announced a national subscription to raise money for the rebuilding efforts.

While the damage at the historic cathedral was feared to be ruinous, an inspection revealed the building to be structurally sound, despite losing its iconic spire and much of its roof.

A number of donors have come forward pledging money to help rebuild the cathedral, including Apple, the parent company of Louis Vuitton and Total, a French oil and gas company.

“We’ll need hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild, maybe more, because 2,800 square meters of roof has burned and also … the big tower of the cathedral has burned too, so we really need to rebuild and it’s going to be very costly,” Valérie Pécresse, president of the Île-de-France region, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Construction on the Gothic cathedral began in the 12th century, and the site has seen many renovations over the years. Macron said Tuesday that he wants the cathedral rebuilt in five years, a timeline some experts say is unrealistic.

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Aryssa Damron

Fact Check Reporter

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