Plans to Install Contemporary Stained-Glass Art in the Notre-Dame Cathedral Spark Outrage
An online petition signed by more than 125,000 people has harshly condemned the French president’s proposal.

A proposal to install contemporary stained-glass artworks in the side chapels of Notre-Dame in Paris has sparked outrage. The original windows by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc were not damaged in 2019 when the cathedral was ravaged by a devastating fire, but suggestions have been made that they should be displayed in a new museum dedicated to the history of Notre-Dame and its recent restoration process.

The French president Emmanuel Macron first announced the plans during a visit to the cathedral on December 8. He said he would initiate a competition inviting contemporary artists to submit designs for new stained-glass windows for six of the seven chapels on the cathedral’s south aisle. The idea came from Laurent Ulrich, archbishop of Paris, who suggested too the Élysée Palace that these new works could be a state commission.