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Why were people so upset about the Chartres Cathedral restoration?

Early stages of cleaning and restoring the choir of Chartres Cathedral (2009–2019)
Early stages of cleaning and restoring the choir of Chartres Cathedral (2009–2019)

Why were people so upset about the Chartres Cathedral restoration?

Society

What is the controversy surrounding Chartres Cathedral?

Its soaring interior is being cleansed of centuries of pollution and grime from candles and oil lamps. But their visit has caused an extraordinary row, with Filler accusing the project’s architect, Patrice Calvel, of a cultural desecration akin to “adding arms to the Venus de Milo”

Fragment of a reputed veil of Virgin Mary, displayed in the Chapel of the Martyrs
Fragment of a reputed veil of Virgin Mary, displayed in the Chapel of the Martyrs

Its walls and vaulted ceilings have been covered with historically inaccurate paint and plaster. Furthermore, many architectural nuances. Moreover, for instance, the fact the north tower became constructed in the 16th century in a different style from the rest of the church. As a result, have become imperceivable.

Chartres floorplan (1856) by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879)
Chartres floorplan (1856) by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879)

Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres, is a medieval Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France. Considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in addition is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral has a rich history dating back to the 4th century.

Lancet windows under the west rose window; the Jesse Window or genealogy of Christ (right); Life of Christ (center), and the Passion of Christ (left)
Lancet windows under the west rose window; the Jesse Window or genealogy of Christ (right); Life of Christ (center), and the Passion of Christ (left)

The first church on the site became built in the 4th century and dedicated to St. Peter.

Later destroyed by the Normans in the 9th century. On September 7, 1020, a fire destroyed the cathedral. Bishop Fulbert built a vast new structure, of which the principal crypt (1020 – 1024) remains today. In September 1134, a large part of the city became devastated by a fire which nonetheless spared the cathedral. The current cathedral became built between 1194 and 1250, with some later additions and modifications.

The elevation of the nave, showing the gallery on the ground level; the narrow triforium; and, on top, the windows of the clerestory
The elevation of the nave, showing the gallery on the ground level; the narrow triforium; and, on top, the windows of the clerestory

The construction of the cathedral became funded by donations from the faithful.

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Pythagoras on one of the archivolts over the right door of the west portal at Chartres

In addition designed to showcase the relics of the Virgin Mary, which became believed to have miraculous powers. The cathedral’s famous stained glass windows, which date from the 12th and 13th centuries, depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints, as well as a remarkable blue color called “Chartres blue.”

Detail of the Notre-Dame de la Belle-Verrière
Detail of the Notre-Dame de la Belle-Verrière
Monsters and devils tempting Christians on the south portal
Monsters and devils tempting Christians on the south portal

Moreover, the cathedral was also an important pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages, attracting visitors from all over Europe who came to pray before the Virgin Mary and to see her relics. Additionally, the cathedral was also the site of many important events in French history, including the coronation of Henry IV in 1594 and the signing of the Treaty of Chartres in 1778.

Why did the French lose at Agincourt?

The Apostles
The Apostles

The cathedral suffered damage during the French Revolution, when many of its treasures became looted or destroyed. However, later restored in the 19th and 20th centuries. Moreover, remains one of the most important religious and cultural landmarks in France. Lastly, today, it continues to attract visitors from all over the world, who come to marvel at its architecture and to experience its spiritual and cultural significance.

Why were people so upset about the Chartres Cathedral restoration?

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doi:10.3406/bulmo.2011.7891.

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