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French medievalist wants to turn Notre-Dame Cathedral into a museum

French medievalist Michel Pastoureau is a French medievalist and art historian. He deals mainly with the symbolism of medieval art. In the Catholic daily La Croix, he argued for the desacralisation of the Notre Dame Cathedral and its transformation into a secular museum.


“The point is not to chase away tourists, but to expel believers. To do so, Notre Dame must be desacralised and transformed into a museum, as has already been done in some neighbouring Protestant countries like the Netherlands, Norway and Great Britain… As a Catholic historian, I admit that such a step would not particularly shock me,” he wrote.

Pastoureau’s theory has been criticised by Father Danziec, a columnist for the right-wing newspaper ‘Valeurs Actuelles.’ In his opinion, the historian’s idea is “unbelievable” and “exceeds all limits in terms of eccentricity.”

According to Father Danziec, it is necessary to fight to remind the French that the Cathedral is, first of all, a place of worship before being a tourist destination.


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