Notre Dame de Paris [2012 vintage shots]

Here is a series of vintage shots of Notre Dame de Paris from 2012. Today, Liberation’s front page headline read “Notre Drame de Paris” (Our Lady/Drama of Paris).

Let us listen to Auguste Rodin, the sculptor on the Notre-Dame de Paris renovation site: “I would like to sit at the table of these stonecutters. “His nostalgia is that of all those who have been brought back to the foot of the cathedrals, as if they were witnesses to what is possible for the human soul: a power to unite, a sacrament of fraternity, a desire for a mystique, a need for the group, to be many, to exist outside of oneself, to be hearts beating together in dedicated places, that which Jules Romains would have recounted on that fateful Monday evening of April 15, 2019, when a president and his prime minister were seen coming to support the French people and dreaming of union in front of Notre-Dame in flames.

7 years ago, I was circling around the Cathedral with my tripod in order to practice long exposure photography. Here are the results. No comment.

Notre Dame de Paris [2012 vintage shots]

Notre Dame de Paris [2012 vintage shots]

Notre Dame de Paris [2012 vintage shots]notredame-DSC_8080_1_2_3_4_5-3

I have some shot from last night, taken from the Solferino footbridge but I think we’ve been fed enough of these images and it seemed to me more befitting to show you the monument the way it was before.

Yann Gourvennec
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  1. “Notre Drame de Paris.” Very clever — but so heartbreaking too. My only hope is that having come so close to losing her, Paris will never again neglect her. Thank you for showing Notre Dame in all her glory, Yann.

    • Thanks Heide, apparently, they are having a hard time trying to understand what really happened. In a sense it wasn’t neglect since they were precisely working on it. The building was even so much looked after that some joked about the fact that not one stone was genuine that they had all been replaced one after the other. I’m not sure all historic buildings have had such favourable treatment. The irony here is that I realise I hadn’t come inside for a long long time (so long I can’t remember when) and the last time I climbed the towers must have been 20 years ago. And I live barely 1 1/2 mile away from there, a 30 minute walking distance.

    • latest news are that there are 4 months to go so that they can protect the remaining walls. In cas it fails, the whole building will have to be taken down. So bad that one of the only monuments that hadn’t been burned to the ground by rioters has been ravaged by fire.

      • I hope with every fiber of my being they will be able to save to old stone structure, Yann. Paris will always be Paris, of course — but it wouldn’t be the same (for this visitor anyway) without Notre Dame. As you say: How sad that it survived so many calamities over the centuries, only to have this happen.

  2. I should have have some pictures from my visit in 1985 but they’d all be on slides.I do have a projector, somewhere, after three moves.
    Will have to find and test it to see what I have and perhaps have them digitized.

    • You can find services online or offline depending on where you live where professionals will turn your slides into digital files and/or prints. Alternatively you can buy a slide scanner you can plug in to your PC/Mac. If you have lots I recommend you do this to save your slides before they fade away entirely. 1980s photo development was industrial and poor quality. The scans will need a lot of tweaking in Lightroom before they can be shared. You will find kit like this on Amazon.

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