Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

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Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Pjotr » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Horrible news today: the Notre Dame de Paris on fire. Only the façade was barely rescued.

A tragic loss for entire mankind. Many irreplaceable art treasures are lost forever. :shock:

France has been struck in its very soul. But not only France: the whole world is grieving.

For me, it's many years ago that I last visited the Notre Dame. Now I'm sad that I didn't visit it on my latest Paris day trips....

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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by gm10 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:57 pm

It's a tragedy, but it's not just the façade, most of the structure was saved including the iconic two bell towers, just the roof and spire that they were restoring burned down (no doubt some mistake made there was the cause of this all), and of course most of the interior is beyond saving now after several hours of pouring water into it, they only managed to get a few pieces out early. Restauration will take years no doubt.

Like you it's been a few years since I last visited the interior, yet I vividly remember all that has been lost. Sic transit gloria mundi...

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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Portreve » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:12 pm

I was at work and when I checked my phone's notification, I was simply horrified at the pictures DW was showing.

Notre Dame de Paris is more than just a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is a treasure for the ages, like many other things, and our culture is, I believe, diminished in ways inestimable by its loss.

That nobody was hurt or killed is the only good thing about it.

I hope the French authorities have the determination to rebuild it.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by lsemmens » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:21 am

I've only just found out about this, a very sad day for all mankind.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Moem » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:47 am

I've been thinking about why this hit me so hard.

I'm not a believer, and my mother is; we just took a trip to some Hanseatic cities in North-Germany, and visited a couple of brick gothic churches. We look at churches from a mostly different perspective, and not all of our reasons overlap, but we both enjoyed seeing them.

I like to look at churches, and other holy buildings, because I admire craftsmanship; I'm a signwriter, I recognise a good hand when I see one. It can be striking to realise that that hand died hundreds of years ago. It's like a collegue reaches out across the centuries, and says hello. Hello, don't you hate it when your best sable brush has a hair sticking out and it ruins your lines?

Mostly, I like to look at holy buildings because they show us what people are capable of when they are motivated by love. It's a type of love that I don't share, but it's love all the same. And in this world and these times, when we are all too often shown what people are capable of when they are motivated by hatred and contempt, that is not such a bad thing to be reminded of.

It's not about the stones and the beams and the glass rainbows that make up the windows. It's all of the hours, weeks, years spent in making it, it's all of the memories in those who visited, and all of the dreams in those who didn't, but wanted to. After all, it's about people.

As Will said, what a piece of work is (hu)man.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by GS3 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:19 am

It is ironic. Now funds will flow for its reconstruction but up until now they were having great difficulty finding enough for the renovations which were ongoing.

All over Europe there are plenty of monuments falling apart due to neglect and the public only becomes interested when something like this happens.

It's like poor old grandma who nobody has any time or patience for until she is diagnosed and only has a few more weeks to live. Then she dies and everyone is so appreciative of what she meant in our lives.

This fire is a tragedy but it will be rebuilt just like it was before. This was not the original roof, it was replaced in the mid 19th century.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Portreve » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:27 pm

Moem wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:47 am
I've been thinking about why this hit me so hard.

I'm not a believer, and my mother is; we just took a trip to some Hanseatic cities in North-Germany, and visited a couple of brick gothic churches. We look at churches from a mostly different perspective, and not all of our reasons overlap, but we both enjoyed seeing them.

I like to look at churches, and other holy buildings, because I admire craftsmanship; I'm a signwriter, I recognise a good hand when I see one. It can be striking to realise that that hand died hundreds of years ago. It's like a collegue reaches out across the centuries, and says hello. Hello, don't you hate it when your best sable brush has a hair sticking out and it ruins your lines?

Mostly, I like to look at holy buildings because they show us what people are capable of when they are motivated by love. It's a type of love that I don't share, but it's love all the same. And in this world and these times, when we are all too often shown what people are capable of when they are motivated by hatred and contempt, that is not such a bad thing to be reminded of.

It's not about the stones and the beams and the glass rainbows that make up the windows. It's all of the hours, weeks, years spent in making it, it's all of the memories in those who visited, and all of the dreams in those who didn't, but wanted to. After all, it's about people.

As Will said, what a piece of work is (hu)man.
This, surely is one of the finest posts I've ever had the pleasure to read, and such a beautiful tribute to art (in the sense of knowledge) and craft.

Thank you, Moem. This really means more to me than I can say.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Moem » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:35 pm

Portreve wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:27 pm
Thank you, Moem. This really means more to me than I can say.
Aww, thank you. It was just... well, I guess I had a lot of feelings about the whole thing, and some of them flowed out, into this post.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by lsemmens » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:12 am

Portreve wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:27 pm
Moem wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:47 am
I've been thinking about why this hit me so hard.
.........................

As Will said, what a piece of work is (hu)man.
This, surely is one of the finest posts I've ever had the pleasure to read, and such a beautiful tribute to art (in the sense of knowledge) and craft.

Thank you, Moem. This really means more to me than I can say.
I agree, a very thoughtful, and meaningful epitaph for a priceless artwork.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:58 am

I saw in the news, that a billionaire French citizen has donated an immense amount of money to help get the Restoration underway.

Oddly his name is not listed in this news story.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/wor ... 481868002/

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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Moem » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:06 am

Some numbers in that article seem off. The roof contained 1.300 oak beams, not 13.000. I guess everything really is bigger in the USA? :wink:
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Portreve » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:13 am

Moem wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:06 am
Some numbers in that article seem off. The roof contained 1.300 oak beams, not 13.000. I guess everything really is bigger in the USA? :wink:
We Americans call it Notre Damn! for a reason. :wink: :lol:
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Fuzzy Penquin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 pm

I found out about this late in my shift on Monday. I had no idea anything was going on until a night shift worker came on duty and immediately showed me the video footage of it on her phone. I was horrified. All that irreplaceable art, whose creators are long since dead.... all gone forever. The building itself, 800 years old(!), being destroyed before my very eyes (fire was still raging, so no idea how much was gonna survive by the end). I saw something long and sharp, fall from a tower into the burning main building. I felt sick.

I have never been outside the US. I probably never will be able to afford such a trip. But the loss of history that happened right there, is a tragedy that words can't express. You don't have to be religious to appreciate the beautiful architecture that goes into anyone's holy buildings. And the loss of any super old building, regardless of it being a church or not, is a shame for all mankind. It is humanity's history, a snapshot into what we were at that point in time. And the loss of the precious art inside, that's....I don't even have the words for it.

I hope that if/when the building is repaired, that they can put reproductions of the lost art pieces in their old spots, so that future generations can see what came before our modern times, what the old masters were capable of. Maybe have a small tag that indicates it as a reproduction and why. I have seen some really good fakes.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by cliffcoggin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:31 pm

I was taught many years ago that what was made by man can be repaired by man, an invaluable lesson in my line of work, so while the complete destruction of so many artifacts of historical value is tragic, the building itself can be restored. Thirty five years ago the York Minster here in England suffered similar fire damage but the work of many craftsmen has returned it to the appearance it had beforehand. Bear in mind that all old buildings have required constant maintenance throughout their history involving new stone carvings, new roof coverings, new windows, new floors etc. I doubt there is a single medieval building extant that still has all its original fabric, though you would not know it to look at them.

Having said that, I think M. Macron is rather optimistic to believe it can be repaired within five years. Most such buildings took decades or even centuries to construct initially, so while modern machinery can help enormously, the number of available craftsmen will be the limiting factor in the speed of restoration. Nevertheless it can and will be done, so let's not be too down-hearted.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Sir Charles » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:41 am

Looks like that most of the building is still intact and the artworks had been removed prior to reparation work on the roof. So the dimension of the catastrophe is not what it seemed to be initially.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Moem » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:47 am

Well, not all the artworks. But yes, it seems that the damage was much smaller than it could have been, which is a great relief!

If anyone's in the mood for a good cry, watch one of the videos of the Parisians gathered to look at the fire, and then singing hymns together. Very touching.
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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by Sir Charles » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:55 am

Moem wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:47 am
Well, not all the artworks. But yes, it seems that the damage was much smaller than it could have been, which is a great relief!
You are right! Should have taken more care to write "most of the artworks".
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: Notre Dame de Paris: a tragic loss for mankind

Post by pascal111 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:09 am

It's the first time to me to know about that Notre Dame church, it's not a modern one, some creative artistic works are lost, it's for our bad luck, because there's no problem if you lost an artistic work and you can repeat and make it again, but I assume that those works of the church were made when the word worked on their artists, when the word work in an artist it makes him make a creative work, the problem isn't to simulate that works again but to make the word to work again in artist to make something the same. France is a high level country, therefore that works are high creative artistic ones.

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