Macron has apparently said that the rebuilding should reflect the diversity of French society. Just think about that for a moment. Imagine that this (at Lincoln) has had a serious fire damaging the towers:
and politicians come forward to say that the rebuilding should reflect the diversity of modern British society. The idea is. of course, simply crazy because the value of the building lies in the fact that it is a breathtaking example of the transcendental yearnings of men of the 14th Century. One might as well say that the Parthenon should be rebuilt to express the diverse aspirations of the citizens of modern Athens. Yet there is enough of this madness in to air to affect the way in which Notre Dame will be rebuilt. it is not the purpose of ancient buildings to express the social political values of a later age, if that is all that one can see in them, one might as well knock them down, for what possible value do they have?
I should just add that fake reports seem to be circulating about Macron's statements in this regard, but such thoughts are very much in the air, with a lot of nonsense being stated about the cathedral expressing the 'spirit of France' and that sort of thing; and as soon as one admits such grossly unhistorical ideas in such a context, there is a real danger that a redesign will be chosen to adapt the building to a modern conception of that supposed spirit.