The interior design programme
Make the heart of Notre-Dame beat again
What makes Notre-Dame de Paris is not only its intricate stonework, high vaults and stained-glass windows. It is not just a pretty architecture. So what is it actually made of ? “Before, in Notre-Dame, there was life”, wrote the Archbishop of Paris some time ago. The life of Notre-Dame: that is what the interior design programme, launched in June 2021, is working to restore. The restoration work, which begun after the building was made safe, must be carried out on two levels: that of the body, both structural and aesthetic – the roof, frame and spire – and that of the heart it conceals. Both aspects are essential to the reopening of the site in 2024.
Six projects for the cathedral
The interior arrangement of Notre-Dame is one of the subjects reflected by the Diocese in consultation with the Ministry of Culture. On December 2021, the programme was approved in principe by the National Heritage and Architecture Commission (CNPA), provided that some adjustments are made. It aims to return the cathedral to worship, and more broadly, to offer a new upgraded tour to the twelve million faithul, pilgrims and tourists welcomed each year.
Six projects are underway to this end:
- the replacement of liturgical furniture (altar, tabernacle, ambo…) and the assembly seating;
- the upgrading of the choir organ (now funded);
- the catechumenal path from north to south, based on the cathedral’s thematic spaces (chapels) and sacred objects;
- new lighting and sound systems;
- the reconstruction of the reliquary of the Crown of Thorns and creation of a dedicated prayer space;
- The complete remodelling of the Treasury of Notre-Dame in the sacristy.
The five projects still to be financed require fundraising of €6 million from the public. Their funding is strictly separate from the national fundraising for the restoration of the structure.
Created the day after the fire, a collective brought together artists and specialists (museologist, architect, scenographer, art historian, etc.) around the task at hand. Not only does its multi disciplinary approach reflect the various aspects of the programme, but also the mixed nature of every cathedral : architecture of stone, theatre of lights, palace of sounds and music, Notre-Dame is ultimately a sanctum of the deeper sense that those players, by joining forces, strive to bring out in the most respectful way. Their work will be gradually revealed at a rate of two to three projects presented to the donors every year until 2024.
Today more than ever, we need you to support these projects.
© Photos Étienne Castelein, Yannick Boschat, Notre-Dame de Paris