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French national lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has made a €1.26m donation to mark this year’s European Heritage Days.

Late last month, FDJ embarked on its fifth “Mission Patrimoine,” a scheme to raise money for protecting and restoring heritage sites.

Now, in the same vein, FDJ and French heritage foundation Fondation du Patrimoine have joined forces to help restore a piece of Parisian history.

The YMCA Paris, located at 14 Rue de Trévise, was inaugurated in 1893 and houses the world’s oldest basketball court.

In a bid to maintain this site, a registered historical monument “weakened by time,” FDJ and Fondation du Patrimoine have awarded the YMCA €1.26m.

“Contributing to the renovation of the YMCA site, weakened by time, and bringing it back to life is a source of great pride for FDJ, our Corporate Foundation and employees,” FDJ Chairman and CEO Stéphane Pallez said.

“The YMCA project allows us to combine our various societal commitments in the areas of heritage, sport and youth,” she added.

In August, FDJ launched the latest incarnation of its Mission Patrimoine. This involved a scratch card campaign and several Loto draws to raise money for Fondation du Patrimoine.

Célia Vérot, General Manager of Fondation du Patrimoine, said: “The YMCA Paris site proves that beyond its cultural or architectural interest, heritage can play a very useful social role.

“With the support of FDJ and the FDJ Foundation, Fondation du Patrimoine promotes the financing of heritage projects with an impact in terms of inclusion and integration.”