The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most iconic buildings in France, lost both its roof and spire during the 2019 blaze in which it was almost entirely destroyed.
While it has been decided that the exterior of the cathedral will be rebuilt with traditional materials, questions have now been raised regarding the fate of the building's interior.
According to renovation plans divulged to The Telegraph, the cathedral may have its interior become a politically correct “theme park”, with parts of the building's interior that were left mostly untouched by the fire set to change dramatically.
Confessional boxes, altars, and classical statues are to be replaced with modern art murals, while light and sound effects will be added to the building in order to create so-called “emotional spaces”.
“Themed chapels” are also to be added to the building as part of what is being dubbed a”discovery trail”. The chapels will give feature Africa and Asia prominently, with Europe, the Americas and Oceania being cast into the background.
The final chapel of the trail, dedicated to so-called “reconciled creation”, will focus entirely on environmentalism. Bible quotes will also be projected onto chapel walls in a variety of languages, including Mandarin.
“It's as if Disney were entering Notre Dame,” said Paris-architect Maurice Culot, adding: “What they are proposing to do to Notre Dame would never be done to Westminster Abbey or Saint Peter's in Rome. It's a kind of theme park and very childish and trivial given the grandeur of the place.”
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was unable to hold Christmas Eve Mass for the first time in more than 200 years — after a fire ravaged its structure in April. https://t.co/EFtTzrkuyd
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 25, 2019
An unnamed senior source close to the renovation questioned: “Can you imagine the administration of the Holy See allowing something like this in the Sistine Chapel?,” warning that the planned rework would “mutilate” the work of architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, who led a major restoration of the church during the mid-19th-century.
“This is political correctness gone mad,” the source continued, saying: “They want to turn Notre Dame into an experimental liturgical showroom that exists nowhere else whereas it should be a landmark where the slightest change must be handled with great care.”
According to the source, General Jean-Louis Georgelin -who was put in charge of reconstruction efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron — as well as Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit, are keen on pushing forward with the proposed plans despite scepticism among those involved in the project.
A crucial meeting of France's national heritage commission on the renovation is set to take place on December 9th.
The 14th-century building has previously been at the centre of architectural controversy, with a number of modernist redesigns having been proposed since the fire. Some proposals have included the addition of a glass roof, with others suggesting the building's iconic spire should be replaced with one made almost entirely out of glass.
One particularly bizarre proposal involved the addition of a swimming pool on the grounds of the historic church.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral on the second anniversary of its near-total loss to fire, calling for it to reopen for 2024, apparently whether it was ready or not. https://t.co/FZsOa1l5KY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 16, 2021