Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 12:25 am
Plans to modernise the visitor experience at Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral have been criticised by traditionalists who fear the monument is set to become a “politically correct Disneyland”.

Though the building is not set to reopen to the public until 2024, plans announced by Paris’s Archbishop and the Canon of Notre Dame to update the tourist experience are already causing furious debate.

The 800-year-old cathedral is being restored after a major fire damaged the building in April 2019.

A team led by the Archbishop of Paris, Michael Aupetit, has proposed a modern, art-installation style interior experience that would involve information projected onto walls in Mandarin, meditation spaces and an “initiation trail” for visitors.

Paris-based architect Maurice Culot voiced his objections to The Telegraph, comparing the modern additions to Disneyland.

“It’s as if Disney were entering Notre Dame,” said Culot, who has seen the renovation plans.

“What they are proposing to do to Notre Dame would never be done to Westminster Abbey or St Peter’s in Rome,” he added.

The Spectator columnist Harry Mount also reached for the US mega-theme-parks in his comparison, calling plans for “emotional spaces” and a “discovery trail” a “politically correct Disneyland”.

However, the cathedral’s Canon, Gilles Drouin, has argued that a modernised visitor trail, with Bible quotes and a religious narrative translated into languages such as Mandarin and Swedish, will open up the monument for tourists “who are not always from a Christian culture” and make it accessible to all.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse, Drouin said: “Chinese visitors may not necessarily understand the Nativity.”

Drouin reassured detractors that the physical restoration will remain true to the building’s 19th-century remodelling by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, but emphasised that the interior experience should move with the times.

He said officials had learned from past experience that Chinese visitors would stop and light candles in Notre Dame when there were signs with information in Mandarin.

Of the physical changes, Drouin said the new-look interior will see a mix of artistic exhibits, with “portraits from the 16th and 18th century… in dialogue with modern art objects”, as well as “a cycle of tapestries”.

There will be a “discovery path going from north to south, from the shadow to the light”, with key Bible stories translated into multiple languages along the way.

After the reopening, tourists will also enter from the large central door, rather than the side entrances as was the case previously.

Cathedrals are not theme parks or bouncy play areas.
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 01:50 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Sounds great! I am imagining a canal with boat trips for tourists so they can observe various biblical scenes. You know, with full animatronics.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 05:44 am
Could become the Paris Puy du Fou ("Emotions are Eternal") - sounds good.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 06:02 am
During archaeological investigations during the reconstruction of the burnt-down Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, researchers have discovered several previously unknown tombs. The finds were of "remarkable scientific quality", the French Ministry of Culture declared on Monday. Among the graves was a completely preserved lead sarcophagus in which a high dignitary from the 14th century had presumably been buried.

The graves were discovered at the level of the crossing, where the nave and transept of the cathedral intersect. In addition to the graves, the archaeologists discovered a pit under the current flooring of the cathedral in which polychrome sculptures were buried. These are said to be part of the old rood screen of Notre-Dame, which was built around 1230 and destroyed at the beginning of the 18th century.

Source (in French) and Spiegel.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 01:33 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Report in The Guardian: Ancient tombs and sarcophagus unearthed beneath Paris’ Notre Dame
As well as the tombs, elements of painted sculptures were found just beneath the current floor level of the cathedral, identified as parts of the original 13th-century rood screen – an architectural element separating the altar area from the nave.
The discoveries were made as reconstruction teams checked the stability of the ground, ahead of installing scaffolding to rebuild the spire.

In the process, they discovered an underground heating system from the 19th century, with the sarcophagus lying among its brick pipes.

Despite the excitement of the find, the clock is ticking for the archaeologists.

They have been given until 25 March to finish their work before the reconstruction project resumes, in order to keep to a planned reopening of the cathedral in 2024.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2022 01:35 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I read that story in The Washington Post this morning, what a find but also a little sad. It's fascinating to learn about the habits of earlier generations, but every once in a while I feel sad about the disturbance of old gravesites. I wouldn't really change anything........its just a little sad. (I must be feeling a little melancholy today)
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 14 Apr, 2022 10:10 am
A new report in The Guardian:
Ancient tombs and sarcophagus unearthed beneath Paris’ Notre Dame

Nine photos on this Frech >website<

glitterbag wrote:
but every once in a while I feel sad about the disturbance of old gravesites
It does not belong in a museum - Lead sarcophagus found under Notre-Dame de Paris soon to be opened says the headline of the report in the 'Libération':
Sa place n’est pas dans un musée Le sarcophage de plomb trouvé sous Notre-Dame de Paris bientôt ouvert
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2022 08:06 am

Veteran director Jean-Jacques Annaud rips a swashbuckling escapade from news footage of the catastrophic fire at the Paris cathedral

Notre Dame on Fire review – high adventure ripped straight from the headlines
Veteran French director Jean-Jacques Annaud serves up some high-octane film-making with this old-fashioned disaster movie, composed in a docu-realist style, about the catastrophic fire that engulfed Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral in 2019. With dramatic reconstructions, digital effects and the splicing in of amateur video, social media material and genuine news footage – President Macron himself appears at one stage to be talking to an actor playing the fire chief – Annaud rips a pretty swashbuckling adventure from the headlines. A terrifying blaze, flying buttresses about to collapse and molten lead pouring from the roof on to the believers below; and Annaud cheekily intersperses the thrills with a querulous old lady who keeps calling the fire brigade because her kitten has got out on to the roof: France has, as they say, picked the wrong day to quit smoking.

There are some startling scenes, all apparently accurate, showing cathedral officials desperately trying to rescue the most precious possessions: the Crown of Thorns, a vial of Christ’s blood, a fragment of the true cross and a nail from the crucifixion. And no one even murmurs the possibility that these are medieval artefacts. As far as these people are concerned: these are the real thing, and this glassy-eyed belief in their authenticity, and the ecstasy at their deliverance, is somehow more important than issues around the incompetence that caused the fire in the first place: it gives the film a slightly reactionary sheen.

That’s not to say it isn’t perfectly watchable and it gives us in the UK food for thought. How long before the Houses of Parliament go up in flames in exactly the same way?

Notre Dame on Fire is released on 22 July in cinemas.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 17 Mar, 2023 05:35 am
@Walter Hinteler,
After the fire of Notre-Dame, archaeologists have made an astonishing discovery: the Parisian church is the first building of its kind in which iron clamps fixed the stones. This gave the architects completely new possibilities.

Notre-Dame de Paris: The first iron lady? Archaeometallurgical study and dating of the Parisian cathedral iron reinforcements

The study of iron reinforcements used in the construction of Notre-Dame de Paris offers a glimpse into the innovation that took place on this building site in the mid-12th century, adapting metal to create a novel architecture. The restoration of the monument after the 2019 fire offered unique possibilities to investigate its iron armatures and to sample 12 iron staples from different locations (tribunes, nave aisles and upper walls). Six of them were dated thanks to the development of an innovative methodology based on radiocarbon dating. They reveal that Notre-Dame is the first known Gothic cathedral where iron was massively used as a proper construction material to bind stones throughout its entire construction, leading to a better understanding of the master masons’ thinking. Moreover, a metallographic study and slag inclusion chemical analyses of the staples provide the first study of iron supply for a great medieval Parisian building yard, renewing our understanding of iron circulation, trade and forging in the 12th and 13th century capital of the French kingdom. The highlighting of numerous welds in all iron staples and the multiple provenances sheds light on the activity of the iron market in this major medieval European city and the nature of the goods that circulated, and questions the possible importance of recycling.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 2 Jun, 2023 08:33 am
Carpenters are working at a frenzied pace to finish repairing Notre Dame Cathedral
Workers across France are rushing to restore various parts of Notre Dame Cathedral, with a goal to reopen the site in Paris in December 2024 — five years after a destructive fire.
0 Replies

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