The Jury Talks Back

5/28/2019

Notre Dame Cathedral: French Senate Says No To “Experimental” Spire Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I say hear, hear for honoring the historical, and for treasuring the exquisite.

A 300-foot-tall flame sculpture, a shooting beam of light, and a tower that resembles a spaceship are among the outlandish proposals put forth by architects to replace Notre Dame’s legendary spire, which collapsed during the cathedral’s devastating fire in April. But, in the end, none of these architectural follies is likely to become reality. On Monday, the French Senate voted that the cathedral must be restored to resemble as closely as possible its appearance before the blaze.

There has been a vigorous argument about the design of a new spire. Demands that it be rebuilt to look as it did before the April fire stood in direct opposition to the push for modernization. The decision to regulate the renovation explicitly mandates that any renovation of the cathedral must preserve the “last-known visual condition” of the monument, including the spire.

Given that “two days after the fire, France’s Prime Minster Édouard Philippe announced an international architectural competition to reconstruct the spire, this week’s vote by the French Senate underscores the belief in preserving tradition. While Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris voiced a preference for a replication of the original design, President Macron said he was open to “a contemporary architectural gesture” that could make Notre Dame Cathedral “even more beautiful.” Oh, please. As if.

Here are a few examples of how architects and artists, and even landscape architects, imagined a new Notre Dame Cathedral spire:

Untitled

spire2

spire

Oh, and yes, this is a cross-shaped swimming pool on top of the cathedral:

notre dame

Make this more beautiful, President Macron? I don’t think so:

notre dame

–Dana


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