French magazine Le Figaro reported the Archdiocese of Paris has plans to give the interior of the rebuilt Notre-Dame contemporary styling, causing new controversy as last December it was settled that it would be restored exactly as it was.
The plans include removing the historic glass-stained windows surrounding the nave with more contemporary and colorful ones to allow for bible verses to be projected on them.
The plans were the product of a committee created Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris to “think about the future” of the interior of Notre-Dame.
The committee’s plans also include removing wooden and straw-bottomed chairs and replacing them with lighted benches, and adding additional lighting at the base of the cathedral’s pillars.
According to the Le Figaro, the design “gives an impression of an airport runway, or even of a parking lot.”
After uproar ensued, the Archdiocese of Paris put out a press release – not denying the authenticity of the leaked proposal – instead saying that these changes are meant to “accompany all visitors, believers or not, on a path able to initiate each person to the very meaning of that cathedral — that of the celebration of the Christian mystery.”
The diocese said the lighting changes create a “catechetical path” throughout the cathedral.
“He and his committee aim at establishing a catechetical path throughout the chapels, especially through the stained-glass windows, which would enable the visitors to rediscover the Christian faith along the way.”
After the leak, the diocese also clashed with French Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot, who said “this project is for me inadmissible and contrary to the agreements we signed.”
Because the French government owns the Cathedral, national authorities must approve any changes to the restoration process from the diocese.
Archbishop Aupetit’s committee plans to submit the final draft of the plans to the government sometime during the first trimester of 2021.