Castles in the air as French heritage plan falters
The plan was to save France’s crumbling heritage by reaching out across the world for money.
Tens of thousands of people, some from the UK, contributed to crowdfunding projects that involved the purchase and restoration of historic châteaux and the renovation of dozens of other monuments.
But Dartagnans, the platform behind the pioneering scheme, is now under fire after its endowment fund was suspended by officials following accusations of a lack of transparency.
There are fears that many of France’s 45,000 historic monuments have fallen into disrepair for want of government funding. President Macron set up a national heritage lottery to raise money but observers argue that private initiatives are also necessary.
Paris-based Dartagnans had been among the most eye-catching of them, attracting global interest.