The Easel

The Medieval Myth of Notre-Dame

Engineering is the least of the challenges facing the Notre Dame cathedral restoration. Which of its “hodgepodge of styles” should a renovation emulate? Does its burned spire – a “fake” – merit rebuilding? Will donations for the rebuild from France’s wealthiest revive it as a symbol of power? Politicians are doing what politicians have always done with Notre Dame, “constructing a past suitable to their modern moment”.