April 17, 2019

"Although Macron and donors... have emphasized that the cathedral should be rebuilt as close to the original as possible, some architectural historians... believe that would be complicated..."

"... given the many stages of the cathedral’s evolution. 'The question becomes, which Notre Dame are you actually rebuilding?,' [say architectural historians like Brigniani]... 'Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making. 'The idea that you can recreate the building is naive. It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought, and one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want. What is an expression of who we are now? What does it represent, who is it for?,' [Brigniani] says. [Jeffrey Hamburger, professor of art history at Harvard,] dismisses this idea as 'preposterous.'... 'It’s not as if in rebuilding the church one is necessarily building a monument to the glorification of medieval catholicism and aristocracy. It’s simply the case that the building has witnessed the entire history of France as a modern nation,' he says. '[You] can’t just erase history. It’s there, and it has to be dealt with critically.'"

Writes EJ Dickson in Rolling Stone.

Who gets it more nearly right?
 
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ADDED: It's fantastic how well the building held up:



So inspiring! There's such a glorious bright side to this. The wooden "forest" in the attic was fated to go out in a blaze, and the spire — a relatively recent addition — fell, but the flammable part will be replaced by something much more fireproof, and everyone is coming together, providing the money and the physical and mental labor, and everyone's focused on getting it done by the looming conspicuous goal that is the Paris Olympics in 2024.

167 comments:

JohnAnnArbor said...

but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.

Here we go. Someone wants to rebuild it as some modern crap.

Bob Boyd said...

What is an expression of who we are now?

Do the French really want to go there?

robother said...

La Musee de Notre Dame. Isn't that what we do with artifacts of ancient cultures that we discover? We don't pretend to re-create the cult meaning such things held for the artificers. Its a supposedly more authentic (because of the surviving stone structure) Disneyland.

One question that could be asked is how long would such a Musee even be a viable tourist attraction? Another 50-100 years, before it joins every other cathedral and parish church in France as an empty monument to a no longer living faith?

MayBee said...

Notre Dame McDame Face

Nonapod said...

While I can understand some of the sentiment behind building something completely new, I think they should try to keep it as close as possible. They shoud hew to the general spirit of the original structure while correcting some of the architectual flaws. They should endevor to use authentic materials whenever reasonably possible (the larger members made from old growth oak may be tough to find these days), and find suitable substitutes whenever it isn't possible.

Sheridan said...

Any famous rappers in current French culture? We know that there are a lot of new immigrants in the country, what culture(s) are represented there? Islam is present, obviously. How about a building housing both a mosque and a catholic cathedral? With a music studio and restaurant where the vestibule used to be? And a coffee bar for those religionists who don't drink alcohol! And a hookah bar! The possibilities are endless....

mccullough said...

Whatever they do with it Islamists will just tear it down.

Ann Althouse said...

It looks pretty together already to me. It needs a new roof.

mockturtle said...

Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.

Did it ever occur to these nitwits that the 'white Europeans' who built it had it right? Can any architect today emulate the sheer creative genius that belongs to that era? Or of the Renaissance? No doubt these critics would construct some modern monstrosity reflecting the 'new' France. It used to be true in England -and I hope it still is--that any rebuild or reconstruction of a historic building had to conform to its original style. By law.

Bay Area Guy said...

Resilience and hope! I like it.

mccullough said...

Notre Dame needs to reflect how quickly the French surrendered to Nazi Germans in 1940.

mockturtle said...

How about a building housing both a mosque and a catholic cathedral?

I'm sure the current Pope would embrace the idea.

Henry said...

one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want.

Well that sounds like a no-brainer to me.

mccullough said...

I’m sure the insurance company will have a say.

Kay said...

It’s something I thought about when I first heard the news about the fire. If the church was “under repair” when the fire started, then how much of that church is actually the original church?

Char Char Binks said...

Let Trump do it.

mccullough said...

Personally, I favor the Six-Million-Dollar Man Approach. Better. Stronger. Faster.

Drago said...

In the end, for our surrender-happy french amigos, the only real architectural question to be answered is how to build the correct foundation for the future mosque minarets that will sit atop Notre Dame, after it's renamed of course, and after French history books have been rewritten to show Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi Abd al Rahman as the victor over Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours.

Michael K said...

Rolling Stone wants a mosque but is a bit timid to admit it.

gspencer said...

Does the owner of the building have any say in all of this?

Is there an owner?

Humperdink said...

" '[You] can’t just erase history."

Professor Hamburger is apparently oblivious to the search and destroy mission for Confederate statues currently underway in the south.

mccullough said...

A stained-glassed depiction of the Yellow Vests. And another of Charlie Hebdo. And a statue of Jerry Lewis

robother said...

"It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought..." The Progressive view of history and tradition in a nutshell. Every crisis, every conflagration, is an opportunity to explore whole new category errors of thought, of which Progressives are a never-ending fountainhead.

Professional lady said...

I read in the WSU today that more than 1,000 people were at the Cathedral celebrating mass when the fire alarm went off at 6 pm. So, I don't think it's religious meaning is a thing of the past.

Darrell said...

Rebuilding Notre Dame is a big "Fuck You!" to every Lefty worldwide. That alone is why it should be done. A kick in the balls for every Lefty is the logical second step.

Henry said...

New gargoyles needed?

Ann Althouse said...

From Wikipedia: "In 2017, the Pew Research Center found in their Global Attitudes Survey that 54.2% of the French regarded themselves as Christians, with 47.4% belonging to the Catholic Church, 3.6% were Unaffiliated Christians, 2.2% were Protestants, 1.0% were Eastern Orthodox. The 37.8% unaffiliated people were divided into 24.8% Atheists, 8.2% nothing in particular and 4.8% Agnostics. Muslims were 5.0%, Jews comprised 0.4% and members of other religions were 1.4%. 1.1% was either undecided or didn't answer the question."

So few Protestants! I was surprised to see how low that number is. There are 10 times as many Atheists as Protestants.

mccullough said...

The Huguenots never caught on in France.

mccullough said...

Of course, the St. Bart’s Day Massacre dissuaded the growth in French Protestants.

TJM said...

It looks like the left-wing loon "historian" got smoked! I hope Ann sends him the results

Phidippus said...

If the French let the cultural Marxists take over the reconstruction of this building, they may be looking a revolution. I certainly hope so, anyway.

Separately, one issue with rebuilding the structure as it was in the past is, where will they get all those giant timbers? There aren't many trees that size any more.

I suppose they could use some kind of modern engineered laminate truss material rather than natural timbers. With care, it would not have to be noticeable unless one was right on top of it, so to speak. It could actually be stronger than the original structure, too.

rhhardin said...

It's a tourist attraction, not the soul of France. Do whatever the tourists would be happiest with.

Tommy Duncan said...

"It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought, and one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want. What is an expression of who we are now?"

Interesting that what God wants does not come into play.

The original building was all about God. Should the rebuild be all about man?

rhhardin said...

The soul of France is malevolence. That's somewhere in Chateaubriand.

Malevolence and denigration are the two chief characteristics of the French mind.

Fernandistein said...

I'll always vote for a Hamburger over Brigniani because I don't like Italian food.

It's a tourist attraction, not the soul of France.

If people really liked these structures for what they are, there would be a lot more of them, more spirit-enhancing and/or bigger and/or more colorful and/or more contemplative and/or more whatever you want than ever. FWIW, Notre Dame is owned by the French gov't and it's a curio.

Darrell said...

If it helps, we can include a statue of Robespierre with his pants below his knees burning in Hell.

tcrosse said...

The Huguenots never caught on in France.

You could look up the Edict of Nantes. After Louis XIV revoked it my surviving Huguenot ancestor escaped to what is now Northern Ireland, where he married into the lowland Scots that Cromwell had sent there.

Darrell said...

We can also include a statue of Charlotte Corday standing in glory over one on the roof peaks.

jaydub said...

Forget it. The cathedral is iconic because of it's exquisite, timeless architecture, it's priceless art work and it's spiritual place in the French nation. In other words, it's a national treasure because it's been perfected by numerous artists and catholic leaders over the centuries, and some johnny-come-lately architect is not going to replace it's history or place in the French hearts with some garish popular monstrosity more suitable for Atlantic Beach, NJ than the Ile de la Cite. Let the French figure it out. They've got it right before.

gspencer said...

Manager, Days Inn, Paris, "Will you staying with us very long, Mssr Quasimodo?"

"About 5 years"

"Tres bien. May I see your Credit Lyon card, s'il vous plait?

Dave Begley said...

That's right. Make it a political thing. Make it multicultural. Add something for Muslims. /sarc

Building was NOT insured.

Quaestor said...

Brigniani is arguing for a new cathedral. That's fine. Perhaps a worthwhile project. But Notre Dame is old. Its artistic significance is rooted in its past. Its spiritual significance is rooted in the continuity of faith. It will only be Notre Dame if the restoration is as faithful to its past as possible. A roof made of steel which is hidden from public eyes may be acceptable, and it may be the only practical solution given the need for so many 500-year-old trees by an orthodox restoration effort. But that should be the limit of modern materials and methods.

JaimeRoberto said...

I hope they don't put a big glass pyramid on it.

JackWayne said...

It’s not up to the French people, it’s up to the French Catholics how it gets rebuilt.

Quaestor said...

We can also include a statue of Charlotte Corday standing in glory over one on the roof peaks.

Hear, hear!

And a statue of Marat roasting in Hades would be nice.

Francisco D said...

[You] can’t just erase history. It’s there, and it has to be dealt with critically.'"

History is being modified and erased by totalitarian leftists at this moment.

Virgil Hilts said...

I apologize if someone has already posted / linked to this. French Improvements to Notre Dame

mccullough said...

It’s up to the French Government, which means the decision belongs to the Chancellor of Germany.

gspencer said...

"'You] can’t just erase history. It’s there, and it has to be dealt with critically.'"

Apparently you can when it comes to the American War of Northern Aggression.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

"The France that never was — a non-secular, white European France ..."

The alert reader can fill in the rest from this cue.

The idea that you can recreate the building is naive. It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought...

Quotes on stories like this ought to come with cartoon thought-bubble translations. I'm thinking something like, "Hey, this time 'round we probably won't get the renovation commission to completely sever the site from any connection to the past, but maybe we can swing replacing that statue of Charlemagne on the parvis with a Queen's Vagina or something."

This may be unfair; I know nothing about this architectural historian. (But it's his own damned fault for letting such inane commentary past his lips.)

...and one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want. What is an expression of who we are now? What does it represent, who is it for?

"We". These days one can never be sure what is meant by that word.

Wa St Blogger said...

ny rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.

Isn't that what all new buildings do? If you want that, build something new. This is a restoration project and it's purpose should be in restoring as close to the original as possible.

Seriously, what an idiotic point of view this guy has. "Let's destroy history because that is not who we are now." I would bet out of that same mouth would be a call to preserve the culture of some minority group because it would be a tragedy to lose it.

Leftists seem to have a clear goal. Destroy anything that came from western tradition and replace it with...well... pretty much anything NOT western. Not thought is given to the benefit or value (both concepts apparently being racist western ideas) of anything being replaced or that which is replacing it.

Metaphorically, they want to burn down Notre Dame and build something out of dried spaghetti noodles and marshmallows. The leftists are like the Taliban who destroyed the temples of ancient peoples because it offended their god. With the same religious fervor.

Anonymous said...

When I was sent to Milan on business once, I spent a Saturday walking the Mall there, and the Cathedral. I took an opportunity to "tour the roof" for about $10, to see the views and the details of the structure. At the very farthest end of the structure, sitting in a little hidden space observable only if you walked all the way to the end of the roof, was a stature of St. Zita.

My mother, 14th child of Slovak immigrants, born in Depression-era Pittsburgh, had what always to me seemed an odd name. Zita. I knew the last empress of Austria was named Zita, but even though raised very Catholic, I'd never known the Saint from whom the name originated. Zita is the patron saint of domestic workers. A most humble saint, venerated for her charity work among those even more poor than herself.

Say what you want about modernism versus classic religious art. A cathedral is meant to be an act of worship, architecture erected to the greater glory of God. Give me a hidden saint like Zita's statue in Milan, and keep all your multiculti crapola.

Scott M said...

Build it so the outside profile is identical. Build the inside so it's as close as you can get to the original. There should be some pictures laying around to go by...

LYNNDH said...

Tear it down and put a huge Mosque in its place. NEVER!!!

With the walls intact then a new stronger roof would be appropriate.
May not have the Old Oak for the timbers but wood that is laminated together would work. The new Globe theater in London is wood built, no nails but wooden pegs as was the original.

It is heartening to see the outpouring of help from rich French business people, who are most likely non religious.

Notre Dame is the something to behold. As are the other grand cathedrals of Europe (which does include England).

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Fern: ...there would be a lot more of them...

There is.

Fernandistein said...

Can any architect today emulate the sheer creative genius that belongs to that era? Or of the Renaissance?

Of course they can. And if a significant number of people wanted that stuff, they would.

stevew said...

So long as they recreate the steep pitched roof so that the flying buttresses are still needed. Flying buttresses are the bomb.

Wholeheartedly agree with those above saying that "Brigniani is arguing for a new cathedral". No doubt.

MadisonMan said...

@jaydub, 2 out of 6 is not a passing grade.

Drago said...

LYNNDH: "Tear it down and put a huge Mosque in its place. NEVER!!!"

I dont think you have quite internalized how deadly serious the left/LLR-left both here and in Europe are with their islamic supremacist alliance to fundamentally transform the West.

There is no turning back for them.

mockturtle said...

Quaestor suggests: And a statue of Marat roasting in Hades would be nice.

All that fire probably cured his eczema at last.

mockturtle said...

"We". These days one can never be sure what is meant by that word.

Precisely. After all, to Obama, 'It's not who we are.' Ever.

wholelottasplainin' said...

mockturtle said...
How about a building housing both a mosque and a catholic cathedral?

I'm sure the current Pope would embrace the idea.
***************

Sure. Then the Muzzies could literally "reach across the aisle" to desecrate all the Catholic stuff.

mockturtle said...

mcullough observes: It’s up to the French Government, which means the decision belongs to the Chancellor of Germany.

Notre Dame cathedral is probably worth doing a Frexit over.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

You want modern? Then update it by replacing the Altar used for celebrating the last supper (Mass) with a chopping block for Muslim Imams beheading the infidels they catch in Mohammed's France.

Lance said...

everyone is coming together, providing the money and the physical and mental labor, and everyone's focused on getting it done by the looming conspicuous goal that is the Paris Olympics in 2024.

I note the following:
1. The Church has been failing to raise renovation funds for a long, long time.
2. Now that the building has been damaged, funds are raising themselves. Over 600 million euros according to one article today.
3. The roof is the least important part of the building, aesthetic-wise. It was also the most in need of renovation/update.
4. The spire is a bigger loss, but as noted it was a later addition. Personally, I think the towers, stained glass windows, and flying buttresses are more important to the building's appearance.
5. No significant artwork was destroyed. The floor and high altar were damaged, but they can be repaired.
6. The 16 statues from the roof were moved one week ago.

If the cathedral had not burnt, how long would it have taken the Church to raise 600+ million euros?

Me voici suspicieux.

buster said...

I believe the Cathedral is the property of the Archdiocese of Paris. (It was seized by the government during the French Revolution, but Napoleon restored it to the Church in 1802.) If so, the Archdiocese will have something to say about how to rebuild it.

Bay Area Guy said...

Thank God for civic-minded rich people.

madAsHell said...

Jeffrey Hamburger, professor of art history at Harvard

He's the lesser known brother of Neil Hamburger!

Achilles said...

but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.

Sounds like they want some minarets on the new version.

Ralph L said...

Flying buttresses are the bomb.

So true, but I think it's the stone vaulting that necessitates the buttressing, not the roof. Notre Dame benefited from the river causing unobstructed views of hers.

Just replace the spire with a minaret and be done with it. And re-roof with unmeltable steel.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Wa St Blogger: Isn't that what all new buildings do? If you want that, build something new.

It's not enough that new things be built. Old things must be razed and memory-holed.

gspencer said...

I'd suggest installing vinyl siding to the outside walls. Make it hot pink.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Fernandistein said... "FWIW, Notre Dame is owned by the French gov't and it's a curio."
********************

Hardly just a curio:

"The cathedral is currently owned by the French state, but a 1905 law helped establish that the state would be neutral when it comes to religion and the public would have freedom to carry out their beliefs. This meant that the Catholic Church became the designated beneficiary and were able to use the cathedral exclusively to practise the religion. This also means that the archbishop is responsible for paying employees of Notre Dame, including security and cleaners, while it must also remain open for people to visit for free."

"Michel Aupetit was appointed as the Archbishop of Paris by Pope Francis in December 2017, after previously being the Bishop of Nanterre. He overlooks 23 archdiocese of the Catholic Church in France, including Notre Dame de Paris, which is considered to be the liturgical centre where he conducts many of his services."


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/16/inside-notre-dames-history-built-owns-famous-9219911/?ito=cbshare

So it's a fully functional Catholic church.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

buster: I believe the Cathedral is the property of the Archdiocese of Paris.

No, it's owned by the state. The Catholic Church gets to use it and run it and be responsible for its upkeep. (Though that last is subsidized by the owner.)

All the great old cathedrals and abbeys and churches are state-owned.

mockturtle said...

ADDED: It's fantastic how well the building held up:

Better than the WTC.

mccullough said...

Sort of like many sports stadiums in the US, it’s owned by the government

Does the archdiocese pay rent?

rehajm said...

Hamburger is right. When a committee chooses dinner you get hot dogs. And vegn hot dogs.

WisRich said...

Ann Althouse said...
It looks pretty together already to me. It needs a new roof.

4/17/19, 1:49 PM
---------

This! No need to "re-imagine" a roof. I'll give them some leeway. If they want to use steel instead of timber in the rafters to make it more fireproof, have at it.

readering said...

I should Reims is a model for how a Gothic cathedral can be restored. Paris Olympics seems a tad ambitious however. It took 2 decades to restore Reims. Probably fewer skilled workman today.

Darrell said...

Perhaps we can find out the names of the 14 weirdos that think Brigniani is right.

Any guesses?

Howard said...

Way to bring out the best of the deplorables in a wonderful uniting event. Insecurities stimulation makes powerful mind altering drugs

stevew said...

Ralph L said...
"So true, but I think it's the stone vaulting that necessitates the buttressing, not the roof."

Pretty sure it is both. I'm not a structural engineer, but my understanding is that the huge, steeply pitched roof exerts extreme down forces on the top of the walls where the two meet, forcing the walls outward and creating torque. The buttress transfers this load and energy to the ground, securing the roof and walls.

But, as I say, I'm no structural engineer so am open to correction.

Openidname said...

"Ann Althouse said...

"It looks pretty together already to me. It needs a new roof."

Sincerely hope you're right. But apparently the fire and/or the water may have damaged the stonework.

policraticus said...

Every great European cathedral is built on the ashes of a former iteration of itself that burned, collapsed, was outgrown by the town or simply became unfashionable. So, it would be in the tradition of the Catholic Church to pull down Notre Dame and replace it with a new, modern, efficient and hopefully beautiful, inspiring and spiritual expression of the Christian faith of the Roman variety. I wouldn't, since the medieval and subsequent accretions of faithful architecture and art that is Notre Dame are simply irreplaceable. Also, my faith in any modern attempt at that kind of grand architectural Summa Theologica is precisely zero.

But no medieval architect who was offered the opportunity to rebuild and renovate a cathedral would insist on using stone, timber and lead when composite materials, steel, aluminum and plastics were available. We can have the exterior copy exactly the look of the 13th century, but still be utterly modern.

Drago said...

Howard: "Way to bring out the best of the deplorables in a wonderful uniting event."

There have been nearly 850 Christian churches torched over the last several years in France.

This is just the latest one.

Any comment on islamists in France openly celebrating this event?

Thanks in advance for your careful avoidance of any criticism of that

Openidname said...

"[T]he France that never was — a non-secular, white European France . . . ."

I don't get this at all. Is he seriously saying that there has never been a non-secular, white European France? I.e., even in the 1200's, France was secular, mixed-race and non-European?

Tarrou said...

"Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France"

This seems to fly directly in the face of history. France has always been white and european, and was devoutly christian for over a thousand years. It's one thing to claim that France should not be that anymore, but to claim it never was is just a howler.

The retconning of history is rarely this blatant and hilariously wrong. What does he say next, that Nigeria was never black or African?

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

readering: ...Reims is a model for how a Gothic cathedral can be restored. Paris Olympics seems a tad ambitious however. It took 2 decades to restore Reims. Probably fewer skilled workman today.

Yes, and that's a shame. I was told that the number of apprentices for the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France (the "French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating from the Middle Ages") is declining - not because of a decline in the number of interested young people, but because the apprenticeships have become less accessible and prohibitively costly from out-of-control bureaucratic regulation. What a loss of a tradition of superb craftsmanship.

Ken B said...

Some people wish it had burnt entirely. Some want to continue the destruction the fire started. They rejoiced. They are a small minority, but they matter. They might get their way.

Curious George said...

Might as well cut to the chase and just build a mosque.

Martin said...

I suspect that when Macron said "close to the original," he really meant "close to as it was the day before the fire."

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Tarrou: This seems to fly directly in the face of history. France has always been white and european, and was devoutly christian for over a thousand years. It's one thing to claim that France should not be that anymore, but to claim it never was is just a howler.

Yeah, but we're talking about shameless ideologues. You can howl at their howlers all you want but they'll just brazen it out, going right on indoctrinating your children with their daft version of history while your back is turned. That "this country was never x" historical retrofitting has been going on all over the West for a while now.

Achilles said...

Howard said...
Way to bring out the best of the deplorables in a wonderful uniting event.

We see you and your muslim allies.

We see what you are trying to do.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Howard - cover up your legs. Nobody wants to see that.

bobby said...

Folks, it's mostly all still there. The stone - which makes up the bulk of the structure - still stands. The "forest" of timbers was how they supported roofs back then, and can be easily replaced with more modern methods.

Point is, the bulk of Notre Dame stands.

But I'll still lay odds that it's about to be rebuilt as an "inclusive" monument, half-mosque, one-quarter church, one-quarter big-government-shrine.

Steven said...

There's a whole super-precise laser-measured model of the cathedral that was made over the last decade. Given the political will by the French government (the owner) to rebuild is as closely as possible -- and with Macron committed, that's virtually certain, since any likely Macron replacement would be on the right -- it's going to be rebuilt as closely as possible.

Brigniani and those who agree with him have already lost.

David53 said...

Well whatever they decide it better include a food court with a McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Subway. And maybe a little place that sells escargot on a stick.

Che Dolf said...

"Those words were heresy to many traditionalists. 'The spire is a masterpiece,' said Benjamin Mouton, Notre Dame’s former chief architect. 'It must be rebuilt as it was.'"

exhelodrvr1 said...

Can it incorporate something that teaches about white privilege? Oh, and misogyny. And how wonderful Obama was.

Fernandistein said...

Check out the cartoons in Notre Dame's colored windows: besides being awkward, rather inept "drawings" without speech balloons of witty slogans, they're round panels arranged in a circle; whereas modern cartoonery is generally rectangular panels arranged in a rectangle, making far more efficient use of the space available (by sqrt(12)/pi), as well as utilizing balloons, which IIRC first appeared around 1740 or so, probably steam-powered at that time.

Fen said...

"...but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making"

Priceless. They are going to build a fucking mosque in the rubble and the christians are going to submit.

So passes Denethor, Steward of the West.

Fen said...

"It looks pretty together already to me. It needs a new roof."

Good thing they didn't take Trump's advice. Dumping water on that roof might have damaged it.

Sebastian said...

"everyone is coming together"

Actually, no. As the post itself shows.

Progs are already bitching about "category errors" in the likely effort to reconstruct the church as a church in a more or less traditional fashion, honoring the tradition of which it is a part, as if God mattered. I say as a non-Christian.

Lydia said...

It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so I don't think it can be changed much at all. On UNESCO's website:

“Notre Dame represents an architectural, cultural and religious heritage, a unique literary heritage that speaks to the whole world,” said Ms. Azoulay. The cathedral is widely regarded as the most beautiful example of French Gothic architecture, which includes innovative use of the rib vault and buttresses, colored stained glass rosettes and sculptural decorations. Construction of the church began in 1160 and continued for a century.

The Director-General also announced that a rapid assessment of the damage would take place as soon as possible. “We are already in contact with experts to assess damage, preserve what can be preserved and consider measures in the short and medium term,” she said.

The assessment would be undertaken with the authorities concerned, including national, local, site management and Church authorities to develop an appropriate plan in order to avoid further damaging the site and to recover as much as possible of the original elements. Subsequently UNESCO would accompany and support the authorities in the recovery, rehabilitation and rebuilding of the damaged heritage site based on accurate documentation based on archival material, photos, films, historic documentation, plans and drawings.

Fen said...

Downfall

...although the flames destroyed much here, here and here... mucb of the foundation and the Rose Window remain intact.

...No worries then. Steiner will rebuild it as it was.

...mon ami...

...Steiner...

...Steiner...

We don't know how! We have forgotten the ways of our fathers.

The Vault Dweller said...

Modern architecture is largely geometrical diarrhea. Even if Notre Dame had been hideous, I wouldn't want it replaced with whatever garbage some team of pretentious turds stewed up.

Francisco D said...

Way to bring out the best of the deplorables in a wonderful uniting event. Insecurities stimulation makes powerful mind altering drugs

Howard,

You remind me of a card game kibitzer who enjoys criticizing other players moves.

How sad. I guess it makes you feel better about yourself.

The Godfather said...

If my church burned down, I don't think we'd expect the local or state government to pay for rebuilding it (although I assume we'd be thankful for any assistance) -- and we certainly wouldn't allow them to dictate how we rebuilt it.

In 2011, the National Cathedral (Episcopalian) in Washington, DC was severely damaged by an earthquake. I believe most of the money for repairs came from private sources. To the best of my recollection, President Obama didn't announce that he was in charge of deciding how the Cathedral would be repaired.

Levi Starks said...

I know he’s not an architect, but still, I think the guy who did the official Obama portrait should design the replacement.

Howard said...

Francisco d, thanks for the wonderful. I'll psychological commentariat. Everybody that posts in the comments is kibitzing. Yourself included. Doctor, heal thyself

Howard said...

Bleached bits bimbo, stop being such a tease

Michael said...

1. The Cathedral is owned by France
2. France is stridently anti-religion
3. They have already called for a "competition" to see how cool a newer (shall we say less Catholic) version they might come up with
4. If one Euro of government money is to be spent on the rebuild the substantial Muslim population is going to weigh in, probably suggesting some multi-culti use of the completed facility
5. The government will capitulate to #4
6. The generous private men who have pledged over 150 million euros to the rebuild will certainly have something to say about the final design. If they are allowed.
7. This will be a decades long cluster

Howard said...

Alas poor Achilles forever playing the fool made an emotional cripple by the American people who sent them on a failed mission to destroy himself and his comrades

Fen said...

Howard,

When Mohamed surveyed the villages he had conquered, there were always mewling cowards like you who quivered out of the ruins with offers to service his cock as proof of their submission.

Say what you will about the barbarians, but called that right - they beheaded your kind and left them for the crows.

Fen said...

Howard: "playing the fool made an emotional cripple by the American people who sent them on a failed mission to destroy himself and his comrades"

Haha. I don't know what's worse, that you would craft such a lame and clumsy attempt at insult, or that you are stupid enough to believe a combat veteran would be affected by your faggoty bitch slaps.

You look so silly. Do it again.

Lydia said...

They have already called for a "competition" to see how cool a newer (shall we say less Catholic) version they might come up with

That announced competition is only for the fallen wooden spire, which dated back to the mid-19th century. See here: https://www.theguardian.com/global/2019/apr/17/france-announces-architecture-competition-rebuild-notre-dames-spire

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

weren't they in the process of restoring it a few days ago?
Restoring it to what-- its original (or close) design?
If there was no fire, and the renovation complete, what would that have been like?
Would that end result have been acceptable/satisfactory?
Why would that end result not be acceptable now?

Michael said...

Lydia
Correct. But a careful reading suggests that they are well open to something more "modern" in the way of a new spire. Remember, the Church does not own this property. The state does. The state.

Steven said...

In 2011, the National Cathedral (Episcopalian) in Washington, DC was severely damaged by an earthquake. I believe most of the money for repairs came from private sources. To the best of my recollection, President Obama didn't announce that he was in charge of deciding how the Cathedral would be repaired.

To the best of my knowledge, the National Cathedral isn't the property of the Federal Government of the United States. On the other hand, Notre Dame is the property of the Republic of France.

EDH said...

On behalf of the US, Trump should donate a 305 foot statute of himself in the pose of the Statue of Liberty.

Tim said...

Might want to build it fireproof, and bomb proof, or you will doing this every few years before it finally is fully destroyed by folks who obanana sides with.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

is this call for a new spire design the architectural version of
'never let a crisis go to waste'?

Howard said...

Fen: I forgot, when did you enlist in the Marine Corpse?

Narayanan said...

Is there room to stage any Olympic event?

Fencing final maybe!

With knightly accoutrement.

Winner rewards by Keira Knightley.

Howard said...

Bagininni has it wrong 100%. What he wants should be built from scratch at a new site. Architecture Historian requires the unique skilz of being a never has been artist and completely ignorant of engineering.

Narayanan said...

Time to reread " The Fountainhead " to grasp the concept of design by committee.

How badly can sixty million French screw up something.

mockturtle said...

Michael, it could be rebuilt by entirely private funds, just as our wall could. But you and I know that it's not really about the money but about power and control.

Fen said...

Howard: "Fen: I forgot, when did you enlist in the Marine Corpse?"

Corps.

And you're not asking in good faith so sod off.


Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Can anybody submit a design for the spire replacement?

Because I have a great idea. Nothing. I never much liked that spire. They should just let it go.

I'm pretty confident that my proposal will be superior to those of the officially favored candidates.

Michael said...

Angle-Dyne, SB
The spire does have the village church to it but I suspect it will be replaced with something with loudspeakers in it.

William said...

Almost by definition, the rebuilding will reflect the spirit of our age. I think the spirit of our age demands a faithful reproduction. That doesn't mean we can't add a few improvements. They definitely need to rethink those hand crafted timbers in the roof. Also they should rethink the gargoyles. Those gargoyles manifestly let the team down when it came to warding off evil spirits. New gargoyles are needed. I would suggest kid friendly gargoyles. Perhaps a design competition between Disney, Marvel, DC and others for a new set of gargoyles. The medieval workmen worked anonymously to show their devotion to God. I wouldn't ask such a sacrifice of the gargoyle designers, but perhaps they could surrender the license and merchandising of the gargoyles towards the upkeep of the Cathedral and its new sprinkler/alarm system......The spirit of the Middle Ages was piety. The spirit of our age is commerce so a fair bargain can be reached.

Achilles said...

Howard said...
Alas poor Achilles forever playing the fool made an emotional cripple by the American people who sent them on a failed mission to destroy himself and his comrades

I have more respect for the muslim shitheads in the taliban than I do for pampered cowardly leftists who take the freedom they were given for granted and want to take it away from others.

They were at least born with nothing.

You were born with everything given to you and you actively try to ruin it for others.

You leftists just really are just worthless. We should ship you off to Afghanistan so you can can have the life you deserve.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Heard this morning on Hugh Hewitt that all churches are owned by the French Government. True/False?

Michael said...

Bumble Bee
True

Lydia said...

I believe the French government owns only those churches built before 1905.

mockturtle said...

Because I have a great idea. Nothing. I never much liked that spire. They should just let it go.

I was thinking the same thing, Angle. It doesn't go with the rest of the structure.

Achilles said...

BUMBLE BEE said...
Heard this morning on Hugh Hewitt that all churches are owned by the French Government. True/False?

true.

And hundreds of them have been attacked over the last several years by a combination of muslims and secularists without any consequences.

So there you are.

Narayanan said...

...apparently the fire and/or the water may have damaged the stonework. ..

How can it be any worse than heavy rain over the centuries.
If they hosed stone to keep it from heating even better.

Lydia said...

More details on ownership of churches:

The law separating Church and State, passed on 9 December 1905, established State ownership of cathedrals and parish council ownership of churches built before 1905. The inevitable result has been serious differences of opinion between clergy and government over the administration of religious buildings.

The requirements of organised religion and the needs of France’s architectural heritage are far from identical. The stakes are similar, however. In a census taken in 1987 the Ministry of Culture counted 32,000 churches and about 6,000 chapels in France; there are eighty-seven cathedrals, all classified monuments. Only churches built after 1905 fall outside public ownership; they belong to the diocese of which the bishop is the head.

Under French law, the parish council owns the building itself and its furnishings and puts these at the disposal of the clergy for acts of worship. The parish council is responsible for the maintenance and restoration of the building but does not pay for lighting, heating or expenses connected with religious observances, which are the responsibility of the clergy. No building works can be undertaken without the agreement of the parish council, and the parish priest may not sell objects or remove them from the church without the permission of the mayor. If the church is listed, or classified as a monument of particular historical interest, the permission of the Commission on Historical Buildings must also be sought.

Leland said...

I chose Brigniani, but only because I agree with his comment about errors. I suspect there may be something lost in translation, but what is rebuilt should be architecturally better than what was there previously. However, I don't agree with reflecting the present as much as the past. There are plenty of buildings that reflect the present. If we need more of them, we will have them. But few buildings remain that reflect so many centuries ago.

As for the survival of the building, I had faith. A building that has lasted hundreds of years isn't exactly fragile.

William said...

When they rebuilt the Parliament Houses in London in the 1840's, they chose a medieval rather than modern design. Nonetheless, those houses look Victorian today.. No matter what you do it will reflect the spirit of your age........I vaguely remember reading an essay by Ruskin about how those medieval artisans worked for the greater glory of God and not for fame or money. Their piety and craftsmanship were integral to their work. Tough to find artisans like that nowadays.......The purest artists were those of Egypt. Their works were buried with the Pharoah. Those works were not only anonymous but unseen. Takes real commitment to bury your best work.

Nobody said...

Achiles, don’t waste your time with that troll. He’s not very bright, and his goal here is just to distract and goad. We have a couple of decent trolls here, but he is not one of them.

Ken B said...

It is amazing, and a great relief that so much seems to have survived. But I am very worried by those holes in the vaults. It means the stresses are out of balance. I also am worried the fire has weakened the mortar. The structure might be very weakened. I assume we will know as they do analysis, but it’s easy to see a large collapse happening.

Fen said...

"You leftists just really are just worthless. We should ship you off to Afghanistan so you can can have the life you deserve."

LOL, yup.

Howard still thinks he's part of the 99%. Privileged and spoiled American brat. His life challenge is to troll "gotchas" on the intertubes. The least he could do is join the Peace Corps, teach a Somali village how to set up a water filtration system.

I would trade 10 of him for one Iraqi.

Fen said...

William: "Also they should rethink the gargoyles..."

I read your post to the wife as she was drinking her diet coke, with the expected result! Thank you thank you!

The Godfather said...

@ Steven (5:17 pm), I didn't know that France owns Notre Dame, so I stand corrected. So it's not really a Roman Catholic cathedral, but just a national tourist attraction?

Temujin said...

I think they should build a Yurt on the Île de la Cité. It can serve as a memorial to the decent of Western Civilization. Paper the walls with old issues of Rolling Stone and mailed in diplomas from Harvard.

There is nothing they regard as worthy of today's Woke Intellect. Let's build monuments to them.

Who is John Galt?

Narayanan said...

The inevitable result has been serious differences of opinion between clergy and government over the administration of religious buildings.

This is the French context.
How may this bleed into Israeli-Palestinian difficulties in Jerusalem etc. would be an interesting exploration

George said...

PJ Media asks "Why Were the Authorities Quickto Rule out Arson in the Notre Dame Fire" - https://tinyurl.com/yy8yje9t :

The statement came while the cathedral was still on fire,

The fire broke out on the Monday of "Holy Week"

Last month, a fire broke out at Saint-Sulpice, the second largest church in Paris. Within a day or two, the authorities had determined that the fire had been deliberately set

Over the past month, in fact, there have been at least twelve reported acts of vandalism against French churches: statues smashed or beheaded, altars desecrated, human excrement smeared on church walls in the shape of a cross and decorated with communion hosts


These all sound like support for the proposition that the fire may have been deliberately lit.

Lurker21 said...

'Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making. '

The idea that conservatism or traditionalism means a return to "a past that never was" had some validity once, but has been terribly overused in recent years. Yes, one doesn't want to be simpleminded in one's thinking about the past and not simplistically apply present-day categories, but what was medieval France if not (roughly speaking) non-secular, White and European? There is as much conceptual fuzziness in Brigniani's view as in what he is criticizing.

Enough of the cathedral still stands that there are limits to how much the reconstruction can change things.

Marc said...

The observation of M. de Chateaubriand about the two characteristics (caractères) of the French mind (esprit) is in his Mémoires d'outre-tombe. 'Since I don't believe in anything, except for what Religion teaches, I distrust everything', he writes. M. le Vicomte practiced a certain 'cruel neutrality' avant la lettre, I think.

Michael K said...


Blogger Howard said...
Fen: I forgot, when did you enlist in the Marine Corpse?


Howard, when did you become a comedian ? Or did you really mean that ? Obama II?

Howard said...

Shorter Fen: Crickets

Howard said...

Achilles: Fen says thank you for your service.

cyrus83 said...

The goal should be a restoration as close as possible to what the cathedral was just before the fire. Part of the reason Notre Dame is so inspiring is precisely because of the architecture of the long-gone Christian culture that produced it. If the French try to modernize it in the spirit of the modern age or mutliculturalism, they will just end up with another architectural mess that most ordinary people will deem ugly and nonsensical.

Anyone who's walked into an older Catholic church that's been modernized knows the type of architectural disharmony described. Sanctuaries desacralized, a ridiculous table out of all proportion to everything around it set up in front of the unused altar behind it that was clearly the original architect's intended focal point, certain elements removed, pews possibly at weird angles, and more than likely subpar works of art either added in addition to or in place of the originals.

Josephbleau said...

Whatever your opinion is, the French will be the last ones on earth to take it into account.

Nichevo said...


Howard said...
Shorter Fen: Crickets

4/17/19, 10:28 PM
Howard said...
Achilles: Fen says thank you for your service.

4/17/19, 10:31 PM


On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog or a disgrace. However, Fen has been telling people on this blog that he's a Marine for far longer than you've been telling people on this blog that you (were, in your case) a Marine.

In fact, if you had ears to hear, recently on another thread, Fen recited his campaigns-Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Restore Hope I believe. He's just not going to dance for you.

Frankly I'm prepared to believe you over him, because Marines I have known closely in personal life have been assholes of the first water. Of course, you are more of a try-hard.

Nichevo said...

Marines I have known closely in personal life have been assholes of the first water


My nephew-in-law honorably excepted, a fine young man in the Corps who wants to transfer out because your leadership is a passel of Oo-rah-ing morons.

Anonymous said...

They must use steel instead of wood to support the roof. So much less weight and risk. And faster.

Nichevo said...

Anonymous said...
They must use steel instead of wood to support the roof. So much less weight and risk. And faster.


Yes but, historicity aside, there may be significant acoustic qualities to the wood that would be lost with steel.

There are many modern engineered wood solutions that I think would suffice. Who knows if there is even enough remaining Limousin oak to replace what was lost, let alone old-growth trees capable of yielding one-to-one replacements for each individual piece of timber, many with cross-sections over a foot square.

Craig Howard said...

Never think that French taste is infallible.

Bunkypotatohead said...

At least put in a sprinkler system this time.

Marc said...

Asked whether the spire of Notre-Dame should be restored 'as it was' or 'in a contemporary style', 73% of the 48,000 respondents to Le Figaro's poll say the former.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Blogger mccullough said...
The Huguenots never caught on in France.


They didn’t do so well in Florida, either.

mrsizer said...

Two massive errors throughout these comments:

1. Just because the stone is standing doesn't mean it is structurally sound. Heating and cooling stone is not good for it at all. Fire almost aways destroys mortar and cracks stones. Spraying cold water on it is not the least bit helpful. The buttresses face a similar problem: They've been under the same stress load for 900 years. It is now radically different. That is probably going to cause them to destabilize.

2. Steel is not necessarily more structurally sound than wood and it is definitely structurally worse in a fire. Wood slowly burns inward. The outside of a wooden beam can be complete char while the inside is fine. Steel softens quickly and bends under the weight it is supporting. No doubt there are special steels that have better properties than others, but laminated wood beams are generally better.

It was an engineering marvel in its day. Make it one again. Put a Toyota nuke plant in the basement, replace the buttresses with active support, and hang the roof from spun Kevlar.

Known Unknown said...

I went with Hamburger because I was hungry.