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Worry over 'modern art thing' on rebuilt Notre-Dame

AFP  |  Paris 

Conservative French politicians expressed concern Thursday about the prospect of modern being added to Notre-after the government invited design proposals for a new roof and

Politicians from France's right-wing Republicans and far-right National Rally (RN) party called on the government to restore the cathedral exactly as it was before the devastating fire broke out on Monday evening.

French has set a five-year target for the reconstruction to be completed and has said "an element of modern could be imagined."

"Let's stop this madness: we need to have absolute respect for French heritage," from the National Rally told LCI channel, rejecting the idea that "some modern art thing" might be added.

"Modern art makes me nostalgic for the arts of the past," he added. Construction of Notre-Dame began in the mid-12th century and continued for 200 years, but the landmark has been repeatedly restored over its history.

It fell into disrepair after the French Revolution in 1789 and is widely thought to have been saved by the Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" which re-ignited pride in the building.

The which collapsed on Monday evening was a relatively modern addition made during an overhaul undertaken by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-19th century.

"There will be a competition that will get architects from all over the world to reflect," told RMC radio. "Every time cathedrals are restored anywhere in the world they are done a bit differently," he added. "We shouldn't be dogmatic about thinking a cathedral needs to redone how it was." A descendant of Viollet-le-Duc urged on Thursday that the steeple be rebuilt in some form after the government said one option might be to do without one altogether.

"Not reconstructing the would equate to amputating an element that belongs to it," Jean-Marie Henriquet, 76, told AFP.

also warned innovation-loving Macron about the dangers of trying to modernise a national treasure. "It would be tragic if grief over the destruction gives way to a mania for disruption, and that the pride of the 'new world' distorts the best of the old instead of transmitting it," he wrote on

One of the most controversial additions to in recent times was the glass pyramid built in front of the in central

Hated by many Parisians when it was unveiled by Chinese-American I. M. Pei, it recently celebrated its 30th birthday and has become an attraction in its own right.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 18 2019. 18:45 IST