|Only Luddites would object to a pool on the roof.|
Over $940 million has already been collected from donors, some 340,000 in all, from all over the world.Initial attempts to modernize the reconstruction met with vociferous resistance, and the exterior will be restored to the original.
Now the controversy is over the interior.
|The illuminated pictures do look like Disneyland|
Now we learn from the Telegraph newspaper (and two European online journals) that the cathedral interior is to be updated—and in the most radical fashion.....the intact interior, is to be transformed into something akin to a contemporary art installation or theme park...Traditionalists, which include your humble blogger, do not believe in "restoring" documents, works of art, or other relics to make them more "accessible" to modern viewers. As the essayist points out:
The grand nave, the central passage of the cathedral, is to be lined with Renaissance-era paintings, one above each of the Gothic capitals.
The idea is to make the Catholic faith comprehensible...to the 12 million tourists, many with little or no knowledge of Catholicism, who arrive each year. To make them feel more welcome, phrases in their native languages are to be projected on the wall.
If those tourists want information about the Catholic faith in digital form, they can find it far more abundantly on the phones in their back pockets. It is a losing game to compete with virtual reality; the result can only be a simulacrum of a simulacrum.With the right technology one can have both--the original physical experience of Notre Dame and the visual and auditory enhancement that can be superimposed over the physical. Using augmented reality tools would be more informative than images projected on walls, and there is no need for any controversy over reconstruction.
Just make sure the WiFi signal is strong.
Note: to their credit the French didn't have the nerve to call the project reconstruire mieux (building back better).