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Darth Vader overlooking the Eiffel Tower

Loved the link from Emma in the thread for the Notre Dame Famous post.
https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/08/pop-culture-and-modern-grotesques-and-gargoyles-in-gothic-architecture.html

Over the last few decades, development and restoration programs at
Gothic churches around the world have led to the sculpting of more
unconventional grotesques. Pop-cultural grotesques and gargoyles, such
as the Alien xenomorph at Scotland’s Paisley Abbey and the Darth Vader
grotesque at the Washington National Cathedral bring modern villainy
to old church parapets.

Disrespectful? Keeping it current? Adding some fun? I think back to a visit to the Stained-Glass Institute in Chartres. I was looking at some fantastic copies of stained glass with a modern take that are being used in churches. I overheard a comment from a couple of people repulsed by the thought of modernizing a subject so sacred.

Brings me back to the past debates on whether to modernize Notre Dame. My thoughts would be to keep it French but add some fun. Quasimodo? A baguette? A beret wearing Quasimodo munching on a baguette and sipping a Bordeaux? If you snuck onto the carving crew, what are you adding to the building, or is the thought too disrespectful to think about?

Posted by
3789 posts

On one of the many 'Escape to the Country' episodes, there was a visit to a cathedral receiving new gargoyles in modern depictions. So as well as the 2 named above, other religious buildings are receiving alien and humorous make overs.

On the Basilica del Voto National (Quito, Ecuador), built around 1900, has gargoyles of animals from the Galapagos Islands.
I don't like ultra modern renovations or additions to iconic buildings, but I am not averse to something moderate. I also didn't think Notre Dame should be totally returned to its 'original' design, as what we saw before the fire wasn't original anyway. However, I would aim for something a little more iconically French for a gargoyle. A round of cheese perhaps, or even a hearty wedge?

Posted by
169 posts

On our tour of the Duomo in Milan - the guide pointed out that many of the statues/busts and decorations had to be replaced due to wear. Donners could suggest themes. She had fun pointing out the replacement "saint" with tennis racket & ball and the frogs etc hidden in the vines.