Notre Dame And The Necessity Of Rebuilding

Notre Dame And The Necessity Of Rebuilding

Notre Dame And The Necessity Of Rebuilding

The entire world watched fire consume and collapse the spire of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Victory Girls’ Nina wrote wonderfully about the beauty and history of the Paris landmark and you can read it here. French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that the Cathedral will be rebuilt and, already, one billion dollars has been pledged to this effort. This monument to the Glory of God and the will of inspired man must be rebuilt.

Rebuilding will not be an easy task, and, I know, that is an understatement. Words can be puny things when it comes to art. The AP has reported on some of the problems:

Paris Firefighters’ spokesman Lt.-Col. Gabriel Plus said that even though they are “in good condition … there is a risk for the gables that are no longer supported by the frame.”

Firefighters removed statues inside the gables, or support walls, above the rose windows to protect them, and took care not to spray water too hard on the delicate stained glass, Plus said.

Scaffolding erected for a renovation of the spire and roof that was already underway must be properly removed because of its weight and because it is now “crucially deformed,” he added.

The cathedral is still being monitored closely by firefighters and experts to determine how much damage the structure suffered and what needs to be dismantled to avoid collapse.

“The experts are scrutinizing the whole of the cathedral, part by part, to identify what is weakened, what will need to be dismantled or consolidated,” Plus said.

Macron has promised that Notre Dame will be rebuilt in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024. Experts do not believe this is possible. Again from The AP article:

Experts have said, however, that Macron’s ambitious goal appears insufficient for such a massive operation. Even Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, while supporting the government timeline, acknowledged Wednesday that it would be difficult.

“This is obviously an immense challenge, a historic responsibility,” Philippe said in an address.

Prominent French conservation architect Pierluigi Pericolo told Inrocks magazine it could take triple that time.

“No less than 15 years … it’s a colossal task,” said Pericolo, who worked on the restoration of the 19th century St.-Donatien Basilica, which was badly damaged in a 2015 blaze in the French city of Nantes. He said it could take between two to five years just to check the stability of the cathedral that dominates the Paris skyline.

Let’s go with the experts rather than the grandiose thinking of the French President on this one.

Not everyone is on board with rebuilding Notre Dame at all. The Social Justice Zealots’ Department of Whining and Complaining has sent their media runners off to spread the message. The money spent on rebuilding a church would be better spent on the poor. I think we have heard this song before.

Like say, the U.S. Space Program. Starting in the early 1980’s, you could hear the sob sisters in the media kvetching about money wasted on space exploration when children were starving in America. What do we get from space exploration?

The same could be said for any art form. Why spend money on ballet when people are starving? What does supporting the ballet do for the common person?

The same could be said of science. Why study nematodes? What can we learn from the nematode when people are starving? wrote about this “backlash”:

British broadcaster Janet Street-Porter has said the donations would be better spent on social problems, a view echoed by the American author Kristan Higgins, who tweeted: “…Donate to help Puerto Rico recover. Donate to get the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn’t care about stained glass. He cared about humans.”

The French politician and trade unionist, Philippe Poutou has called wealthy donations, “a contest of tax evaders”. If there was a proper tax system, he argues on Twitter, there could be a social fund for these issues.

In the Huffington Post, writer and historian Mike Stuchbery reminds donors of their responsibility to the poor: “It’s important for some to remember that such a wonderful edifice was built to celebrate a faith that emphasises giving aid and comfort to the poor, regardless of who they are.”

Holy Echo Chamber, Batman. I bet these people are fun at parties.

And, the poor are everywhere. Although we never hear about it, there are even poor folks in France:

Okay, so first, one billion dollars may SEEM like a lot of money. It’s not even a drop in the bucket of poverty. The United States spends over $600 billion per year on domestic poverty programs. France, last year, was going to put $9 billion into fighting domestic poverty. These are both First World Countries, right. Think about all the international aid by these two countries and that doesn’t even include the funds the United Nations flushes down the commode pretending to cure poverty.

Art, and architecture is art, inspires and provokes us. Art causes us to question what we know and believe. The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris inspires those who enter on multiple levels. I have never been. But, I think about some of the places that have inspired me over the years: The Music Hall in Cincinnati which is one of my first memories. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Union Terminal in Cincinnati and Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. The list goes on and on.

There will always be poor people. Life, circumstances and governments will see to that. We can argue forever on how best to serve the poor. Feed them for the day or teach them life skills?

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is a wonder of the the Medieval Period. How could it have been built then? How was it even conceived of in the mind of man? We must rebuild the Cathedral if we can. It is a temporal monument to man’s spiritual needs. It inspired and will inspire millions of people yet born.

Photo Credit: Uoaei1/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 4.0 License

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  • Scott says:

    I agree Toni. I am curious though. I heard a claim on the news today that it took half an hour for the first fire engine to arrive on scene, and 90 min for the first aerial to get there. I’m trying to find info on why, but if anyone has further info, I’d love to understand. In the US, response times such as that in any major city are beyond the pale. Here, the standard is 4 min for the first rig, and 6 for a full compliment of apparatus, which would include aerials.
    If I find the info, I’ll post it as well.
    Sorry to go a bit off topic

    • GWB says:

      That would be something to chase down, yes.
      I have heard that one of the main problems was the lead sheeting on the roof. It naturally kept the water away from the parts that were burning. Ugh.

      • Scott says:

        Didn’t mean to imply that there was anything intentional or nefarious about it, just that a delayed response, along with the ancient wood, large fire load due to amount of wood, and the lead sheeting as you mention would all have an impact on the fire, and how hard it was to get under control.

  • GWB says:

    I think we have heard this song before.
    Yep. And John told us his motivation. And the modern one isn’t really any different.
    he used to take what was put into [the money pouch]

    Jesus didn’t care about stained glass. He cared about humans.
    Yes, and no. God very much cares about stained glass and other works that glorify Him. (He gave very explicit instructions on building the tabernacle and the first temple.) And he *also* cared about people. Of course, he personally cared about people. He never once said “Verily I say to you, go this day and force Bartimeus to put a coin in that beggar’s cup!” How often have you given your cloak to another?

    there could be a social fund for these issues.
    Just like in the old days, eh? Like under the monarchs?

    such a wonderful edifice was built to celebrate a faith that emphasises giving aid and comfort to the poor
    OK. And therefore we shouldn’t rebuild the building that gives glory to God so that people are reminded of His words and commands?

    The United States spends over $600 billion per year on domestic poverty programs.
    Those are just the government numbers. What is spent privately – through food banks, shelters, and by Joe Bago Donuts dropping a fiver in the beggar’s cup – is a LOT more than that.

    Hopefully the guy who did a laser 3D imaging of the cathedral a few years ago captured it carefully enough that it can be recreated properly.
    And, just maybe, a few of these fools will read their Bible a little more carefully and come to understand better what it’s all about.

  • CallieCat says:

    There are some people who want to downplay the “overly religious” aspects of Notre Dame…..

    • GWB says:

      Yeah, this is what passes for intellectualism these days.
      Maybe we should hold some architects’ and historians'(!) heads in a bucket of water for a bit, until they get some sense in them.

  • John C. says:

    Regarding the cost of the Space Program, it is one of the few things the government has done that has turned a profit. I read once that from the beginning of Project Mercury to the first launch of the Space Shuttle, for each dollar put into the Space Program, 21 dollars came back, mostly in the form of technology spinoffs, which have included medical sensors, electronics, new materials, etc. We won’t even count weather and communications satellites and GPS, though the latter was originally military. But it is so diffuse that it is not obvious to the general public.

  • Charles N. Steele says:

    Macron is right. They should be able to build a minaret atop Notre Dame by 2024. It’s not as if it has to last a long time; after all, in the next decade or two Notre Dame will be razed to make way for a new mosque.

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