Media interviews Prof. François Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles on the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris

Prof. François Dupuigrenet-Desroussilles was recently interviewed by several media programs on the tragic Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris. To listen to the interviews, please click the following links: i24 News, IsraelTBS, Seoul; WCTV #1, Tallahassee; WCTV #2, Tallahassee.

Notre Dame burning

Notre Dame, the cathedral church of Paris that partially burned on 15 April, is first of all one of the most important Christian monuments in Europe, comparable only to Saint Peter in Rome or Westminster Abbey in London. Built between the 12th and the 14th century for the archbishops of the capital of France, it is a signal of faith : millions of faithful pray each year  in a church that does not belong to a Parisian parish – you cannot be baptized or marry in Notre Dame -, but is made for pilgrims from the whole world.

It is a monument of art, a masterpiece of the Gothic style that dominated European architecture from the 12th to the 15th c., and a treasure trove of statues that seem to watch over Paris, as well as Baroque altar paintings commissioned by the corporations of Paris during the Ancien Régime. 14 million people visit it every year.

But it is also a symbol of France itself. Victor Hugo described it as such in his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, published in 1831 after it was looted it during the 1830 revolution. Many important episodes in French history took place in Notre Dame, from the trial of rehabilitation of Joan of Arc in 1454 to the crowning of Napoleon I in 1804, the Te Deum celebrating the Liberation of Paris in 1944, or the state funerals of French presidents general de Gaulle or François Mitterrand. 

This explains the popular emotion stirred in France and in the world. President Macron, who was to give a very important televised speech on 15 April postponed it because of the event. 1 billion euros has already been raised in funds to rebuild the cathedral and an international architectural competition will be launched shortly