Paris Fire (April 2019)

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Monday, April 15th
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
When I received the first text about Notre-Dame being on fire, I felt a little weepy
-wished that I had attended the usual Christmas sunrise service
-glad that I climbed the “Tour” last December

Notre-Dame of Royal Weddings and State Funerals
Notre Dame of Literature
Despite being centuries old, the site of several churches
Located at the point from which all distances in Paris are measured
Dominates the island in the Seine, where all of Paris originated

I am not a structural engineer, although the “after picture” don’t-look-as-bad as I thought
(but what do I know)
The Bell Towers and Rose Stain-Glass Window remain
The roof is gone and that might be a big-deal
The Cathedral was under construction, so the Copper Statutes of the Twelve Apostles, the green patinaed figures spaced up the sides of the spire had been removed
The Cock — a Gallic Rooster that topped the spire (the unofficial national symbol of France) was recoverd in the ruble, albiet damaged
ND Pope John Paul

This historic city that the world loves undergoes change and modernization constantly
-consider Eiffel’s radical Tower
-Chagall’s controversial Mural on the ceiling of the Opera House and
-I. M. Pei’s Pyramid at Le Louvre

The streets of Paris were changed drastically by Hausman, who converted narrow streets (that you might still see in portions of the Left Bank) into grand boulevards, more amenable to being policed and defended

The Musée d’Orsay, one of the most popular Paris museums for its collection of Impressionist art, was once a train station (Gare d’Orsay), which sat dormant (the set of a Orson Wells film, The Trial) The former train station platform, under a glass ceiling, is now occupied by sculptures. This display of scupture competes with the sculpture courts of the Louvre

Critical portions of Paris were destroyed even by Parisians during the revolution
-Those statues on the facade of Notre-Dame were practically destroyed – decapitated and vandalized
-The mighty bells of the tower, smelted for ammunition
-Even the Statute of Henry IV on the pont neuf is mostly rebuilt

And Notre-Dame has survived periods of deep destitution
before being revitalized by the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo

And considering the Hunchback, Notre-Dame was built on an extensive movie set in California’s San Fernando Valley. This 1939 movie was critically acclaimed and nominated for an Academy Award (unfortunately the same year as Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz) Charles Laughton (Quasimodo, the bell ringer) was actually married to The Bride of Frankenstein (Elsa Lanchester)

SimanaitisSays (Dennis Simanaitis)

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