French Chic & Slim
|| 19 December 2021
Notre Dame de Paris: historic and evolving
image: Notre-Dame de Paris: The Eternal Cathedral. Text by Claude Gauvard. Photographs by Joel Laiter. Proceeds from the book go toward the renovation of Notre Dame de Paris.
Before the controversy began over the restoration to the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral for the damage caused by the 2019 fire, I was grateful to have been given a copy of Notre-Dame de Paris: The Eternal Cathedral. I have a library of books of architecture, and this magnificent tome is certainly the jewel of my collection.
Now that the cathedral's restoration plans have been approved and we have learned that there will be changes to the interior of Notre Dame that to my taste (and to the taste of many others) will detract from the beauty and dignity of this venerable building, I am especially glad to have the book.
In an Washington Post opinion article, Elizabeth Lev, a professor of art history at Duquesne University’s Italian campus in Rome, attempts to soothe the concerns many have about the coming changes to Notre Dame, those changes unrelated to the fire damage. Changes that many label "kitschy".
In the comment section for Elizabeth Lev's article, one commenter made a significant point about the funding for the renovation: The almost $1 billion in donations have been made by people of all faiths and nationalities to repair the damage to the cathedral by the fire. They did not donate to pay for the removal of undamaged elements of the cathedral — nor for the addition of elements not present when the fire occurred. Much of the controversy over the plans for the restoration center on those changes.
image: Book's interior double page photo showing cathedral's south side during 1857 restoration work displayed on Anne's coffee table with her December rose bud from her garden.
But whatever changes the renovation makes to Notre Dame, I have my book in which I can see marvelous images of the way the building was before the changes. And learn more of Notre Dame’s rich history of building and restorations.
You can read Elizabeth Lev’s opinion article on the Washington Post’s website — if you have a subscription or have not used your quota of free articles.
You can learn more about the book Notre-Dame de Paris: The Eternal Cathedral, text by Claude Gauvard, photographs by Joel Laiter on the Google Books page for the book.