Notre Dame Cathedral Could Go Through Major Change

In 2019, Christians all around the globe were horrified and grieved by the fire that partly damaged the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Reports show several unsettling rumors and speculations circulating in the aftermath of the tragedy about the plans for reconstruction, such as replacing it with a mosque and the equally infuriating prospect of constructing a modernized cathedral.

It was reassuring to hear that the reconstruction would adhere to the original blueprint created in 1163.

But a modernization idea has the public worried about the temple’s reopening.

According to a report, many see President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to install modern stained-glass windows in the side chapels of Notre Dame Cathedral as vandalism.

To save the original windows, over 125,000 individuals have signed a petition. According to critics, the alteration would ruin the ancient building’s architectural harmony after the fire that undermined it in April 2019.

During his visit to the cathedral a few weeks ago, Macron announced removing and replacing the windows in six out of seven chapels in the south aisle. The replacement windows, selected via a competition, will be modern stained-glass windows.

The Archbishop of Paris, Laurent Ulrich, wrote to the Élysée Palace proposing the commissioning of six new windows, which is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the stained glass windows created by Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century have become an intrinsic aspect of the Cathedral’s aesthetic appeal.

A report shows fears that since Pope Francis appointed Ulrich, who is also a “reformist,” there is understandable apprehension that his peculiar notions may influence the artwork for the new windows. Moreover, the decision-making process would be skewed toward a “popularity contest,” leading to potentially inappropriate and subpar options.

The petition urges for the original windows to be preserved.

It states that Viollet-le-Duc’s stained glass windows at Notre Dame were meant to work together. The architect aimed to stay true to the medieval roots of the church with this one-of-a-kind design.

The cathedral is scheduled to reopen on December 8, 2024.