News from Europe

Secular France doesn’t take enough care about it’s historic churches

Two years after the fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral, an investigation into the case did not reveal the causes of the fire. Unofficially, there is talk of neglect of fire protection or insufficient funding of security measures.


In France alone, a total of eighty-seven cathedrals built before 1905 are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture since 1912. Ordinary churches are generally owned by communes. The problem is that conservation obligations and building security are not always proportional to the needs. It’s about money, of course; However, ideological considerations also play a significant role.

Didier Rykner, journalist and art historian, spoke in the daily “Le Parisien” on the occasion of the second anniversary of the fire of the Paris Cathedral of Notre-Dame. He found that when everyone’s eyes turn to the cathedral’s restoration, the condition of many other historic Parisian churches is alarming.

In his opinion, the burden of responsibility lies with the mayor of Paris. Its socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo Rykner spoke directly of the “deplorable condition of the Parisian churches. Eighty million euros (around ninety-six million USD) was spent on them over six years, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the needs. 


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