Flat White

Notre Damn

1 December 2021

9:00 AM

1 December 2021

9:00 AM

If anything could tempt a vengeful god out of silence, it might be the unholy restoration plans for Notre Dame. 

Built between 1163 and 1345, the Gothic cathedral was not merely a French treasure. The building sat at the heart of human civilisation as a sacred relic, worshipped for its craftsmanship, spiritual importance, and sheer beauty. Like the pyramids at Giza or Rome’s Colosseum, Notre Dame leaked spirituality onto its guests and left them in awe that men could build such things. 

These marvels exist as threads that bind us to the past in a way we feel rather than understand. 

When Notre Dame was gutted by fire in 2019, even the English set aside their thousand-year rivalry with the French to mourn the loss of an irreplaceable monument. 

After the grief and fury, plans were made about what to do with the severely damaged building. Under normal circumstances, it would be torn down and replaced, but humans are sentimental creatures and there was no way Macron could remain in power if a bulldozer so much as looked at Notre Dame. 

The public were adamant, even if it cost the entire national budget and all the forests in France, Notre-Dame would be restored to its former glory – carbon credits be damned. 

Of course, you can’t trust the Woke with anything. 

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe launched a competition to rebuild Notre Dame in a way that ‘bears the mark of our time’ – which should be nominated as a contender for ‘worst idea of the century’. Almost immediately, horror stories flooded the internet in the form of architectural pitches to re-imagine the Gothic church in a diverse assortment of monstrosity. 

Somewhere between turning the roof into a swimming pool and erupting a giant bronze fire sculpture from the middle to keep the PTSD alive, sanity prevailed and the French National Assembly created a law ensuring that the restoration would be – uh – a restoration. 

Feeling safe in the knowledge that Notre Dame had entered a phoenix witness protection program, the general public calmed down. 

Imagine the world’s shock in 2021 when it discovered that the Woke had crawled back to pick over Notre Dame’s corpse mid-resurrection. The Telegraph has since published leaked plans to mutilate Notre Dame into a religious Disneyland. 

Aside from wanting to knock a hole through the 18th century crypt (designed by Jacques Germain Soufflot) to store a few extra benches – classical sculptures, confessional boxes and altars are to be scrapped in favour of modern art and fancy light shows to create ‘emotional spaces’. I am sure the spaces will create an emotional response, but I doubt it will be of the spiritual kind. 

In order to erase the French culture, the chapels will adopt ‘themes’ as visitors wander around a ‘discovery trail’ which has a specific emphasis on Africa and Asia accompanied by walls covered in Bible passages printed in diverse languages like Mandarin. 

The only two languages I expect to see in a Gothic French church are French and Latin. 

The whole nightmare is meant to climax in an environmental lesson. While we have mocked the climate change movement as a cult, they appear to have found a way to hijack a national treasure and turn it into a temple. 

As described by the Telegraph: 

Visitors will pass through the main entrance and be shepherded towards fourteen themed chapels depicting Genesis, Abraham, Exodus and the Prophets but also the five continents. While Africa and Asia will have pride of place, Europe, the Americas and Oceania will either be less evident behind the apse or totally absent. The tour ends at a chapel dedicated to “reconciled creation”, namely environmentalism as set out in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical.

The central idea is to accommodate the religious and cultural sensitives of its twelve million visitors, entirely missing the point that people only come to Notre Dame to escape their culture and immerse themselves in French culture. 

Director-General of the Notre-Dame Foundation Christian Rousselot wanted to ‘provide the keys to half the planet that doesn’t know what a cathedral is.’ 

And they certainly won’t know what one is after visiting this Frankenstein monster. 

“Foreign visitors see signs and magnificent paintings but don’t understand a thing,” Rousselot added.

If visitors really wanted to read the text, they could always buy a guidebook or pick up one of those audio aids handed out in every other historic building of interest. No one is going to travel halfway around the world to see cultural vandalism. They might as well leave the whole thing as rubble and erect a gravestone if this is what they plan to do. 

Prize-winning architect Maurice Culot saw the plans and said, “It’s a kind of theme park and very childish and trivial given the grandeur of the place.” He added that this would never be done to Westminster Abbey or Saint Peter’s in Rome. Mind you, he is probably underestimating the political influence of Woke politics. 

“This is political correctness gone mad. They want to turn Notre Dame into an experimental liturgical showroom that exists nowhere else whereas it should be a landmark where the slightest change must be handled with great care,” said an unnamed senior source.

What the world didn’t know in 2019 was that the restoration law did not cover the interior detail of the building, and now the public must once again fight to stop Notre Dame becoming the plaything of narcissistic political movements. 

I may not be religious, but I know sacrilege when I see it. 

The best we can hope for is that Jupiter awakens from the Gallo-Roman temple beneath Notre Dame to toss a few lightning bolts at anyone who tries to desecrate 850 years of history. 

Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at Ko-Fi.

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