We were expecting it since April 2019. The archaeological crypt of the Ile de la Cité set under the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral will reopen and present an exhibition devoted to Notre-Dame de Paris as announced by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The exhibition is closed until further notice.
The exhibition will tell you more on the story of the cathedral and will focus on Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as renovations started by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc afterwards, through pictures and illustrations.
Including abstracts from Victor Hugo’s novel all along the display, the exhibition also returns on the fantasied fire as written by the novelist. In the novel, trying to defend Esmeralda, Quasimodo throws melted lead with a gigantic fire lit on the gallery between the two towers.
When Hugo makes of the cathedral the main topic of his novel, the monument is over 500 years old and is degrading. It is also considered to be destroyed. The novel sparks a popular urge to save this heritage. We are in 1831. A bold renovation site is coming to light, as designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. From 1844 to 1864, he will renovate the building to its medieval state, but also adds a few creations like the iconic spire.
The exhibition also shows tributes in works by artists from all over the planet, and a system (set prior to the fire) shows the different steps of the renovations ongoing since July 2018 and for 20 years. A short-movie by Jean-Marc Gosse called “Notre Dame Eternelle” closes the exhibition. You will hear the stories of visitors answering the following question: “What does Notre-Dame mean to you, and what does it embody?”
As for the jewels of Notre-Dame de Paris saved from the fire, including the Holy Crown of Thorns, the Shirt of Saint-Louis, the big paintings, the organ, Coustou and Coysevox’s sculpted group, and the rooster at the top of the spire, are currently housed at the Louvre for inspection and renovations.
La Crypte archéologique de l'île de la Cité
1 Place du Parvis Notre-Dame
75004 Paris 4
tarif réduit: €6
tarif plein: €9