Mary, faithful to his church. In the smallest city in the Alpes-Maritimes, which bears the name of the mother of Jesus, the mayor Gérard Steppel has launched an appeal for donations of the most original to save the chapel of Saint-Pons. Last summer, the elected representative of the town has asked all Marie of France to contribute financially to the restoration of the religious building. More than 1,300 donors, in France and abroad, have responded to the call of the medieval village.

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“We’re not a small town with the advantages and attractions of the coast, so it was necessary to show imagination, said Gerard Steppel to France 3. I asked myself what there was in particular, and in fact the name of the town, Mary, appeared to me like a no-brainer. It is the only commune of France and Europe to carry the name.” With the help of the heritage Foundation of the Alpes-Maritimes, which allows for the tax-exemption of donations, the community has harvested 57.000 € 149.000 necessary to the renovation of the chapel. “Never before seen”, according to the Foundation, which awarded the city the prize of “best engagement digital.” The rest of the renovation project was funded by the region and the department.

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The building, which was destroyed by fire in December 2010, has found a new skin. The roof, gutters, bell tower, the façade and the frescoes in the interior of the building has been recently renovated and electricity has been put to the standards. At the opening mass held Saturday, march 30, the inhabitants and a few foreign donors were able to admire the result. Gerard Steppel was pleased to see that philanthropy is not a concept of thought. “What I remember it is the human dimension of this adventure, was declared elected to CNews. In an age where individualism is king, the people have demonstrated great generosity and solidarity.”