The archeological crypt of Notre-Dame reopens on Wednesday with an exhibition retracing the cathedral’s turbulent history nearly 18 months after it was ravaged by fire. The April 2019 blaze toppled the spire of the cathedral and destroyed much of the roof of what is one of France’s most cherished national treasures. The crypt, situated below the square in front of the cathedral and containing the remains of fortifications and thermal baths, had to be cleaned of lead dust, an arduous job that took more than a year before visitors could be allowed back in. The exhibition pays homage to French writer Victor Hugo and the architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc, the two men behind the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19th century. ‘Forbidding and dangerous’ Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,” published in 1831, was instrumental in winning public backing for the restoration of the monument which had been left in a state of abandon and decay. The exhibition to mark the reopening of the Notre-Dame crypt includes photographs, drawings, paintings and film excerpts. Photo: AFP “The exhibition starts with how the cathedral looked at the time the novel was published,” said Vincent Gille, a curator at the Victor Hugo museum… Read full this story
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