French judge rules ‘extraordinary’ ‘extraordinarily generous’ gift for Parisian hospital

A French court has ruled that a lavish Christmas gift for a Paris hospital that had been shut down due to the Ebola virus was “extraordially generous” and that the donation was “in keeping with the character of the hospital”.

The hospital in central Paris, where hundreds of staff and patients have died in recent days, received the $10 million (8 million euros) from the family of the late French President, Charles de Gaulle, as part of a “spiritual” gift, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

The gift was made during the French president’s birthday on 1 December, 2016, the prosecutor’s website said.

De Gaulle died of Ebola in March, and his widow and two children were among those who died in a quarantine at the hospital in the city of Belleville.

The president’s widow, Marjorie de Grouchy, has said the gift was intended to honour him by “releasing the spirit of love and the spirit that we have”.

The gift, which was presented to the hospital by the president’s children, is one of several gifts the hospital has received in recent weeks.