On April 15, 2019, the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris caught fire. The world watched as one of its most beloved medieval monuments burned. We were all reminded that not only is it a miracle that medieval architecture has survived into the 21st century, but that art and architecture (like all other tangible, material things) can very rapidly be destroyed.
In response to this devastating fire and the questions it raised about conservation and restoration of medieval art and architecture, Sam Fogg and Luhring Augustine hosted Gothic Spirit: Medieval Art from Europe, a one-day conference held in New York City in January 2020. Gothic Spirit brought together academics, curators, art dealers, collectors, and conservators to discuss the delicate issues of conservation and restoration. How far do we go to preserve the past? What is too much restoration? How are these issues addressed and perceived by politicians and society at large? The conference began with a presentation by Dr. Alexandra Gajewski on the current status of restoration at Notre Dame.
The full conference is now available to watch on Luhring Augustine’s website. To watch the conference sessions, click here.
For more information on Notre Dame, especially how restoration efforts have been affected by the novel coronavirus, you can read these resources:
Wall Street Journal: One Year After Fire, Notre Dame’s Rebuild Is in Limbo
The Telegraph: Notre-Dame fire: one year on from the devastating blaze
The New York Times: Marking Notre-Dame Fire in a Locked-Down Paris
Additionally, you can also visit the ICMA’s Notre Dame de Paris page for resources and information from scholars in the field.