Yesterday I said this:
I have no doubt Notre Dame will be restored, but there will be small but noisy campaigns for the money to be used elsewhere or the building replaced with something “more inclusive”.
Yet the damage wrought by the Notre Dame fire has also raised important questions about the cathedral’s symbolic significance in an increasingly divided France, and how to rebuild (or which version of the cathedral should be rebuilt) going forward — and in some ways, these questions are one and the same.
It has been my experience that anyone who uses the term “going forward” is either trying to distract you from a catastrophe of their own making or is trying to sell you something which goes very much against your interests.
But for some people in France, Notre Dame has also served as a deep-seated symbol of resentment, a monument to a deeply flawed institution and an idealized Christian European France that arguably never existed in the first place. “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard University.
If the claim is that “some people in France” resent Notre Dame, why the need to quote an American academic? Surely a Frenchman on the streets of Paris would suffice, no? Or did they tell you va te faire foutre?
What it means to be “French,” however, has obviously changed a great deal over the past few centuries.
I don’t think this is obvious at all. What is obvious, though, is that over the past couple of decades cultural Marxists have done everything they can to destroy any tangible means by which people can feel themselves French.
Although Macron and donors like Pinault have emphasized that the cathedral should be rebuilt as close to the original as possible, some architectural historians like Brigniani believe that would be complicated, given the many stages of the cathedral’s evolution. “The question becomes, which Notre Dame are you actually rebuilding?,” he says.
The one that was there last week, you cretin. And why does anyone care what an Italian professor in New York thinks?
Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.
Ah, finally we get to it. These grifting foreigners don’t want the French to restore Notre Dame to how it was, they want some steel-and-glass monstrosity to arise in its place, preferably bearing their name. That, or a mosque.
“The idea that you can recreate the building is naive. It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought, and one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want. What is an expression of who we are now? What does it represent, who is it for?,” he says.
If it’s up to the French people, why are you sticking your beak in? Now I know this is only Rolling Stone but the ashes on the floor of Notre Dame are still warm and already the postmodernists are turning up with a crane and a wrecking ball. Thankfully I’m confident the French will tell them where to shove it and restore the cathedral properly, but if this were Britain and St. Pauls a blackened shell you can be sure these sociopaths would be welcomed with open arms by half our political class. Knowing both countries quite well, the big difference I can see between France and the UK is the French establishment, at least for now, doesn’t seem to detest France quite as much as the British elites hate Britain. Right now, that’s a valuable edge.