” Bertrand Delanoë has been the first to take as much into consideration the heritage. But with Anne Hidalgo, we went further ”

Karen Taïeb, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of heritage

“exemplary restoration”. Present at the inauguration of the nave restored to the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the VIe arrondissement, Karen Taïeb, assistant to the mayor of Paris in charge of heritage, commended the work accomplished. The restorations, conducted by the supervisor, Pierre-Antoine Gatier, architect in chief of historical Monuments, were “dusted and clean” paintings and ornaments of the central part of the building, property of the municipality. For a little over a million euros. This renovation is the third step, after the one in the sanctuary and the choir of monks, and of the transepts, a huge project started in 2015. An operation that wants to give back to the church the splendour it possessed in the Nineteenth. It is expected to end in 2020.

” READ – IN Paris, a lack of means for the maintenance of religious buildings

Plan of the church according to the slices of restoration, past and future. Mairie de Paris

The frescoes by Hippolyte Flandrin and Alexandre Denuelle, painted between 1842 and 1864, have regained their sparkle. “This is the Sistine chapel of the ingrisme, one of the great decorations of the Nineteenth century,” explains our colleague Adrien Goetz. Founded in the sixth century, the church was almost destroyed at the beginning of the Nineteenth before a jump, which led to the creation of these new sets. They have been worked with wax, a technique that both the admirers and followers of Ingres, had borrowed from the great masters of the Italian Quattrocento. To highlight the original works, the team of specialists has adhered to a “philosophy of restoration is minimal intervention,” says architect Pierre-Antoine Gatier.

To further patronage for churches

“there has been for this project, a huge investment on the part of patrons”, welcomes Karen Taïeb, deputy mayor of Paris. The operation was conducted thanks to the support of the endowment Fund for the influence of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It has harvested close to 5.200.000 euro. An important aid that can be explained by the international reputation enjoyed by the building, to such a point that the United States has seen the light of day equivalent to the endowment fund specifically for the philanthropic americans. The millions collected had covered “almost all of the work,” says the deputy in charge of heritage. The town hall, it has had to finance 15% of the work. Individuals have also made donations in exchange for the adoption of a gold star from the vast vault of azure of the church.

This example of patronage could it inspire other churches of paris under construction – twenty now? Karen Taïeb does not say. “I think that we are witnessing a phenomenon of re-appropriation of the heritage. There will be sponsorships additional. And vocations will be born”, wants to believe the deputy, Anne Hidalgo. A phenomenon that has not waited for the drama of Our-Lady to show up, as the endowment fund, created with a view of the beginnings of the site is earlier. Its creation date of 2015.

The management of the parisian heritage in question

“Bertrand Delanoë has been the first to take as much into consideration the heritage. But with Anne Hidalgo, we went further, calm, purposeful, Karen Taïeb. We love the parisian heritage.” The generous and growing donor it must not be forgotten, according to her, the role of the city in the preservation of the shrines of paris. In 2014, Anne Hidalgo has voted for a “Plan for renovation of places of worship” for six years (2015-2020) with 80 million euros of public funds. On the 96 religious buildings managed by the municipality, 23 churches have been affected by the renovation work (as in the chapels of the Saint Eustache church in the Ier arrondissement, or the roofs of Saint-Vincent de Paul in the Xth arrondissement).

there are Many critics of the heritage policy Anne Hidalgo. Father Pierre Vivarès, the parish priest of the parish of Saint-Paul Saint-Louis in the Marais, was one of the first to organize the revolt, arguing that with 13 million euros per year, “anything is feasible”. “To put 500 million euros, as some journalists suggested, is not used for nothing”, responds Karen Taïeb, making here a reference to Didier Rykner of the Tribune of-the-Art, which estimates the budget necessary to save the churches of Paris.

“It is a question of time and know-how,” continues Karen Taïeb. We neither could nor would come of technicians and other experts to save time.” Especially since, according to our interlocutor, some of the operation, already initiated, but still at the administrative stage, suggest that the churches are abandoned. Not sure that this response will be able to convince all the defenders of the heritage. One thing is for sure, the resurrection of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, for its part, unanimously.