thierry Ehrmann, founder/CEO of Artprice: “Too often we only appreciate the true value and importance of something when it has been lost or risks being lost. Last night, in the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame de Paris, a treasure of incalculable value for humanity went up in smoke.”
The French Interior Ministry has announced that “the walls have been preserved and at least 30% of the artworks have been saved”, but the entire wooden structure, the spire and nearly 70% of the artworks have gone forever. Nine hours of flames and water destroyed a large number of Christian relics of course, but also lots of absolute masterpieces of humanity like the magnificent organ, the extraordinary bells, the beautiful stained-glass windows, numerous statues and numerous canvases, including Jean Jouvenet’s Visitation (1716), Antoine Nicolas’s Saint Thomas d’Aquin (1648) and the great “Mays” (annual gifts to Notre-Dame during the 17th century):
La Descente du Saint-Esprit by Jacques Blanchard – 1634
Saint Pierre guérissant des malades de son ombre by Laurent de la Hyre – 1635
La Conversion de saint Paul by Laurent de la Hyre – 1637
Le Centenier Corneille aux pieds de saint Pierre by Aubin Vouet – 1639
La Prédication de saint Pierre à Jérusalem by Charles Poerson – 1642
Le Crucifiement de saint Pierre by Sébastien Bourdon – 1643
Le Crucifiement de saint André by Charles Le Brun – 1647
Saint Paul rend aveugle le faux prophète Barjesu et convertit le proconsul Sergius by Nicolas Loir – 1650
La Lapidation de saint Étienne by Charles Le Brun – 1651
La Flagellation de saint Paul et Silas by Louis Testelin – 1655
Saint André tressaille de joie à la vue de son supplice by Gabriel Blanchard – 1670
Le Prophète Agabus prédisant à saint Paul ses souffrances à Jérusalem by Louis Chéron – 1687
Les fils de Sceva battus par le démon by Mathieu Elyas – 1702
Judging by the extraordinary international diversity of the visitors who queue up every day, Notre-Dame de Paris is undoubtedly a ‘jewel of Humanity’. With 12 million visitors a year, Notre-Dame de Paris was the most visited monument in the world, ahead of the Great Wall of China or the Great Pyramids (the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing).
Indeed, behind its pious façade, crowned with its sumptuous rose window, Notre-Dame de Paris is one of France’s most important symbols, but is also a symbol of global cultural significance. Today, the entire planet mourns the destruction of the most famous example of Gothic Art and a veritable masterpiece of ‘operative masonry’.
Many Heads of State have expressed their sadness at seeing such an extraordinary symbol destroyed by flames, and financial commitments have already been proffered by France’s most powerful patrons like Vinci Group, the Arnault family and LVMH Group (€200 million), the Pinault family and Artemis holding company (€100 million) and the City of Paris (€50 million). The Ehrmann family, Server Group and Artprice have also joined this spirit of generosity.
An online platform has already been set up to collect donations from all over the world, however modest, reflecting the general desire to contribute to the reconstruction of the cathedral as soon as possible, a project that could take decades:
Notre-Dame de Paris has indeed survived other ordeals, but nothing quite so devastating. In the Middle Ages the building survived the Hundred Years War and in the 20th century it lived through two World Wars. In 1793, during the French Revolution, its Kings’ Gallery was demolished for being a symbol of royalty and the heads of the statues were not found until 1977. They are now kept in the Cluny Museum.
Artprice wishes to thank Cision Group for the global distribution of this press release.
Copyright ©2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com
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