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JohnD

A new Notre Dame de Paris?

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Horrible for the French - their "St.Paul's" has burnt to a shell.

So what to do to replace it?     The late cathedral was built on the site of a previous church, torn down to build this one.     Our St.Paul's burnt down in 1087, and then again in 1666, in the Great Fire.    They didn't try to build a replica any of those times, so why not a new cathedral for Paris and the French.

The 'new' St.Paul's was a lot different from the old one

Old St.Paul's  The central tower of a large gothic cathedral. The central tower is buttressed and with an imposing wooden spire. An octagonal chapter house is in the foreground. and Wren was not just daring in building that dome - he exceeded what was currently believed possible  

 

So lets hope they go for a new Notre Dame!

John

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Edited by JohnD

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30 minutes ago, JohnD said:

So lets hope they go for a new Notre Dame!

I think you'll find they rebuild it more or less as it was.  And I have no problem with that.  Some fire protection/limitation measures might be advisable though!

Impressive how fast money is being pledged for it's rebuild...... and a bit depressing at the same time....... if you had, say, a Caribbean island nation flattened by a hurricane, or perhaps a hospital wing ravaged by fire, rather than a big church "owned" by what is probably the single richest organisation on the planet...... I fear you would struggle to raise funds or extract rebuilding promises at the same speed or scale :confused:

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It is a hugely challenging question, more so because of the importance of the cathedral to French culture and history, but also because attitudes to conservation are significantly different in mainland Europe to the UK.  Most countries in Europe regard building restoration as a return to its origins, to its original state, whereas an important part of conservation in the UK is about preserving the patina of age, warts and all.

Culturally and psychologically, therefore, there is undoubtedly a strong case (and demand) for recreation of Notre Dame exactly as it was intended to be after the current renovations.  Layer into this the fact that (speaking as one of the breed) we lack the understanding, perception, fluency and humility to create truly arresting devotional and civic architecture.  France has a rich history of grand public architectural statements and took a considerable role in the emergence of Modernism in the 20th century, but dedication has evolved into ambition and, I regret, too much of a project of this nature would become invested in the personality of the star architect chosen to create a statement.

Notre Dame was almost derelict in the mid-19th century and the spire built shortly afterwards was a recreation of a far earlier version demolished a century before, but I fear that any attempt to find a response 'of our time', to add to the cycle of decay and rebirth, will quickly become mired in dispute, controversy, financial problems and acrimony.

Great, recent cathedrals in the modern style are few and far between.  In Europe, war and disaster have given birth to Liverpool and Coventry and remarkable bravery and foresight gave birth to Barcelona, but none of those has (arguably) as powerful a position in their urban fabric as Notre Dame.

The closest example, which achieves the remarkable melding of the British 'patina' and European 'spanking new' approaches, is the truly stunning Frauenkirche in Dresden.  It is as it was before the war, but there is no doubting the trauma it experienced in the meantime.

Paul

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17 minutes ago, PaulAA said:

but I fear that any attempt to find a response 'of our time', to add to the cycle of decay and rebirth, will quickly become mired in dispute, controversy, financial problems and acrimony.

Ah so i guess the suggestion that they let LEGO do it and make it a tourist attraction afterwards goes out the window then?

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I think the main carcass will remain. The North and South towers are iconic along with the flying buttress so a spire is probably a favourite unless the foundation (stonework pillars) have been badly damaged by the heat.

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" a big church "owned" by what is probably the single richest organisation on the planet" by which you mean the Catholic Church, I presume, Nick.      In fact part of the problem, that has led to neglect, is that the responsibility for the upkeep of NDdeP  has been in dispute between the French State that is the legal owner (they had an anti-clerical Revolution, remember?) and the Arch-Bishopric.    

"Restoration" will be impossible.       The roof was made from 1300 oak trees, each at least 100 feet tall, from the forests that still remained from the ancient wildwood in the 13th century.   There probably aren't that many that big in Europe, let alone France.   No wonder it was known as "La Foret"!

Paul mentions Coventry, where a new cathedral was built alongside the ruin of the old, and will know well the brick-for-brick reconstruction of Old Warsaw, after WW2.  Contrasting examples of regeneration.    There is no possibility of the first for NDdeP,  no space on the Ile de la Citie.   As far as was possible, the Poles retrieved the old materials for their rebuild, but had to resort to to concrete and steel where wood had gone, and so much of NDdP was wood!

We cannot be complacent.   Our own Houses of Parliament are in a similar scaffolding straightjacket for exactly the same reasons, not least political can-kicking.    The Rennie MacIntosh School of Art in Glasgow burnt down TWICE recently, for lack of fire prevention measures.    Of over 600 new schools built in the UK recently, only 100 were fitted with a sprinkler system, and the Grenfell Tower tells its awful story.   The national museum of Brazil in Rio was gutted by fire and almost all its treasures lost.

The State has a responsibilty for lives and history, which our own penny pinching Gov is not alone in failing to respect.

John

Edited by JohnD

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Perhaps they'll have a naming competition too - Spirey McSpireface (or the Francais equivalent).

On the funding/fundraising, I read that donations will be tax deductible in France - doesn't that mean that, effectively, the French taxpayer will pick up the bill?

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Fleche le Visage?

The UK equivalent is Gift Aid.     A charity can claim 25% (basic rate only, I'm afraid) of your donation from Gov.  So yes, the tax payer contributes a quarter of the income, or does in the UK.   Would you have it differently, Rod?    The £4 billion to restore the Palace of Westminster is ALL coming from the tax payer!   So far 700 million Euros have been pledged to restore NDdP, so if the French State does the same, that will 'cost the taxpayer' 175 million Euros, when the total bill will probably be in excess of a hundred times that, which the French tax-payer will be spending.

Oh, well.  It'll be work for those restless gilet jaunes!

John

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Would I have it differently - No not for us mere mortals that give to charities John. I understand Gift Aid of course, I don't know the detail of the process in France, but it just seemed to me that the headline of millions being donated by philanthropic Billionaires hides the fact that much of this will/could be set against tax and so isn't as philanthropic as first thought - unless of course they forego the tax advantage.....

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Rod

At the risk of sounding like a miserable old cynic (... sounding like?), ever was it thus.

There is a little too much publicity given to billionaires who make what appear to be grand philanthropic gestures, which transpire to be tied into beneficial trusts and tax breaks.  Case in point is Mark Zuckerturd, who claims to have wafted billions into his 'charitable foundation', yet sterling work by investigative journalists has revealed it to be little more than a clever front for repositioning his immense wealth.

Ditto Ikea, which turns over Euro 40 billion a year, yet is registered as a charity and pays no tax.

There was an excellent presentation recently by Rutger Bregman, in which he pointed out that, instead of shouting about their philanthropy, the super rich should simply pay their fair share of tax.

Rant over.  Sorry, John, for the thread drift!

Paul

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Cynics unite, I agree Paul.

I hadn't realise that Ikea was a "charity". Upsets me even more that one sits on the spiritual home of my Football club! (apologies for even more drift)

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Just read that the French will offer a 75% "tax break" on donations of less than 1000 Euros!     Don't how that can be spun, but it'll please the "Little People".  Comme nous?

And no probs with rants, almost anywhere, guys.    Yes, it is distastful when a burning church loosens the pursestrings so liberally, when starving children and refugees do not.

As for IKEA being a not-for-profit company (no such thing in UK - read "Community Interest Co.")?    Wow!    It is so, with a mission to "further the advancement of interior design", which is just a tad introspective, not to say incestuous!

John

PS drifts - have you found that US sites are much more 'disciplined' and don't drift threads?  At the same time, they don't engage in conversation, unless you challenge somebody's statement.     "This is what I do" - endof.    No debate = boring.  J.

 

Edited by JohnD

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It's not just Ikea, tax evasion is a Vatican speciality too isn't it?

Quote

Given its special relationship with Rome, the Vatican has historically enjoyed a number of financial perks from the Italian authorities. These include a municipal tax break for all non-commercial properties that contain a chapel. Between 2006 and 2011, the Vatican used this loophole to avoid about €4bn of tax on hundreds of properties in Rome, some up to 10,000sq m, which it justified by including a three-square-metre chapel. In November this year, the European Court of Justice ruled that this practice was illegal and ordered the Vatican to pay back a whopping €4bn in post-dated tax. Many have argued that this figure barely touched the sides of what was owed and have called for the period dating back to 1992 to be taken into account, which would drive the overall bill to over €13bn.

 

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I’ve heard that tax evasion is one of Italy’s more popular national sports.... but that is Olympic standard. No wonder Italy is bit skint.....

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Back to NDdP, the Guardian today has an two pager of mini-interviews with leadign architects, about what to do with the cathedral.

http://guardian.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

The best idea, that I like a lot, is from Stephen Barret of Rogers Stirk Harbour:    A clear, glassed roof.     Leaving a god's house open to the heavens has an immediate appeal, and it would offer no challenge to the remaining woodwork.

John

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Official plan for temporary roof:

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

C'est beaux, n'est-ce pas?

Edited by JohnD

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This proposal is quite elegant... unlike the others revealed so far:

https://www.archdaily.com/916514/vincent-callebaut-architectures-reveals-tribute-to-notre-dame-with-rooftop-farm?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ArchDaily%20List&kth=2,394,240

Paul

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I like that on a number of levels.  What chance of it happening though?  Won't please the traditionalists....

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Have to look at that later, on phone now.    One source for expertise is Chateau Guedelon, a project to build a 13th Century castle, whose organisers are (slightly smugly) saying that they told us that their hand skills would be needed one day! 

See: https://www.guedelon.fr/en/

John

Edited by JohnD

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Vincent Callebaut Architectures Reveals Tribute to Notre-Dame with Rooftop Farm,© Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Very nice!   I think they took their cue from the circus tent! (See above)

J.

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If its expected to last another half-millenium, best jack it up 10 metres or so to allow for sea level rise.

Peter

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