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Thousands are Donating Money To Save The Mothe-Chandeniers Castle In France

via Mashable

People are uniting to save the Mothe-Chandeniers chateau in Trois-Moutiere, Western France. Thousands have donated to the the crowd fund, with an average contribution of at least €51 (£45; $61) each. So far, €500,000 has been raised to buy the 13th century castle.

The campaign was organized by the crowdfunding platform Dartagnans.fr organised the campaign along with the cultural organization, “Adopt a Castle.” The platform allows donors to become shareholders in the form of Société par Action Simplifiée (SAS), making them co-owner of the ruined, but soon to be restored, castle.

During the Middle Ages, the castle, circa 13th century, was taken twice by the English and was abandoned during the French Revolution. In 1809, a wealthy Parisian businessman, Francois Hennecart, bought the castle and restored it adding a vineyard to the property.

The castle was rebuilt in 1870 by a baron and esquire of Napoleon III, and then in 1932 a massive fire broke out inside the castle after Baron Lejeune Edgar installed central heating. The damage was devastating and according to a report on Le Figaro, “an entire library of rare books, Gobelins, tapestries, antique furniture and valuable paintings” were all lost.
In 2016 an association called “Friends of Mother-Chandeniers” was created with their sole purpose being to preserve the 13th century castle. After the castle is restored, its fate will be in the hands of its owners: “We believe in collective power and we want YOU, the future owners, to decide collectively and democratically on the future of the castle,” it says on the Dartagnans website. “[Will it be] an artists’ residence? A place of innovative and popular cultural development?” The campaigners believe the castle to be  “symbol of the collective, creative expression and the preservation and spread of heritage and culture.”

 

The campaign is hoping to reach 1 million Euros in order to cover all financial expenses related to the purchase. According to Romain Delaume, co-founder of Dartagnans, who spoke to AFP, the money raised will cover the architectural expertise and the work required to clear and secure the premises. Delaume states that the support they’ve received via internet is “unseen in the history of World Heritage”.

Co-owners can follow the progress of the castles restoration on Dartagnans, and will be the first to visit the castle in Spring 2018.

[via Mashable]

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