PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - Luxury goods group LVMH and its founding Arnault family will not benefit from tax deductions on their combined 200 million euro ($225.02 million) donation towards the restoration of Paris’ fire-stricken Notre-Dame cathedral, CEO Bernard Arnault said on Thursday.
The outpouring of funds following the fire on Monday has prompted questions from charities, politicians and commentators about why some of the business donors have offered so much so quickly, including speculation regarding tax break benefits.
Arnault, France’s richest man, told LVMH’s shareholder meeting that his family holding company was not eligible for such deductions. He added that the luxury goods company had hit its ceiling to qualify for tax breaks after those it received in recent years for building the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Arnault also hit out at the criticism in France over his donations.
“There’s some pettiness and jealousy in the air, instead of people thinking about the general interest,” Arnault said, urging shareholders to take to social media to show their consternation if they were happy with the donation.
“In many other countries, we’d be congratulated,” he said. ($1 = 0.8888 euros) (Reporting by Pascale Denis, Writing by Sarah White; editing by Richard Lough)