Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 03:11am

No situation is so bad that Trump cannot make it worse:

Stephen Colbert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KC3c9HL_jQ

Basically Trumpolini decided that his opinion on proper firefighting techniques was somehow needed or wanted, Tweeting that French firefighters should use planes to water-bomb the Cathedral. The French response (appropriately, by Twitter):
Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.
:lol:
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-04-17 05:02am

Patroklos wrote:
2019-04-16 07:05pm
At the same time this provides an opportunity for strengthening that would not be available if balancing with maintaining a pristine historical stays vice restoring it to that status after the fact. Assuming the assessments of the remains find it can be strengthened. Steal can be hidden pretty effectively. The new roof doesn’t even have to be structurally linked to the remaining exterior walls, that lack of load greatly aiding their preservation.
Given that Gothic structures such as this depend on opposing forces, and the flying buttresses impose an inward pressure on the exterior walls to counteract the outward pressure exerted by the loading on those walls by the interior arches, the building might actually be more stable if the new roof is in fact structurally linked to the exterior walls and adding a load to them.

But that's up to engineers, not me.

Regardless, roof options are wide open now. In 1836 the Cathedral at Chartres suffered a somewhat similar roof fire and the new roof was supported by an iron framework rather than an "authentic" recreation of a wooden frame. See here. That roof is now considered historically important in its own right. The cladding on that roof is copper, not lead.

Even if they do decide to use timber framing to recreate "the forest" for a new roof for Notre Dame modern builders should be able to incorporate fire suppression equipment while doing so, much as the new Globe Theatre in London incorporated fire retardant and a sprinkler system into the thatched roof. Installing such systems while building is much easier and cheaper than attempting to retrofit such a structure.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 05:57am

Recreating the original wooden roof is unlikely, given that France does not have enough large trees any more:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/france-doe ... -1.4382570
A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire.

Bertrand de Feydeau, vice-president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.

He says the cathedral’s roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because “we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century.”

The church’s medieval roof structure, mostly made of oak, "has been lost," Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, told CNN.

De Feydeau said the restoration work will have to use new technologies to rebuild the roof.

Meanwhile, David Elstone, executive director of B.C.-based Truck Loggers Association, said his province would not have suitable oak, but if architects required soft wood timber Canada could help.

“We probably have a tree that would suit the needs of the architects that are trying to rebuild Notre Dame,” he said.

“We grow large strong trees that you cannot find in other areas.”

The oldest trees aren’t always the largest ones when measuring a tree’s age in centuries, Elstone explained.

Only four per cent of Europe’s remaining woodland is primary forest, according to a study published last May, with none larger than 500 square kilometers outside of Russia or Northern Europe.
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-04-17 11:00am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 05:57am
Recreating the original wooden roof is unlikely, given that France does not have enough large trees any more:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/france-doe ... -1.4382570
A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire.

Bertrand de Feydeau, vice-president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.

He says the cathedral’s roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because “we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century.”

The church’s medieval roof structure, mostly made of oak, "has been lost," Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, told CNN.

De Feydeau said the restoration work will have to use new technologies to rebuild the roof.

Meanwhile, David Elstone, executive director of B.C.-based Truck Loggers Association, said his province would not have suitable oak, but if architects required soft wood timber Canada could help.

“We probably have a tree that would suit the needs of the architects that are trying to rebuild Notre Dame,” he said.

“We grow large strong trees that you cannot find in other areas.”

The oldest trees aren’t always the largest ones when measuring a tree’s age in centuries, Elstone explained.

Only four per cent of Europe’s remaining woodland is primary forest, according to a study published last May, with none larger than 500 square kilometers outside of Russia or Northern Europe.
This is a problem, yeah. If they do decide to go with a wooden roof frame, they'll probably import the necessary wood from the US or Canada. There's plenty of wood in South America, Africa and Asia, but most of it would be tropical hardwoods and thus probably unsuitable from a historic perspective, beyond cost. But yes, this is one likely reason for them to pursue alternative roof framing methods.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by houser2112 » 2019-04-17 01:31pm

Tribble wrote:
2019-04-15 04:30pm
I admit I have mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand I am very much saddened by the loss of such a irreplaceable historical and cultural treasure. On the other hand the atheist in me feels that at the end of the day this building was little more than a symbol of the decadence of an oppressive religion and was built at great time and expense for little more reason than to worship an imaginary being. Best use of resources and manpower at the time it was not IMO. Yes yes it’s made more than enough back over the centuries, but still...

So while I do mourn its loss I am rather iffy on whether or not it should be rebuilt as opposed to building something else on the site, and what the site should be used for. It may be worth it just on economic side of things due to the amount of tourism it generated. And from a historical and culturally perspective I could see why many would want it rebuilt.
This is exactly how I feel about it. It's a shame that such a beautiful structure is destroyed, but churches are a collosal waste of space. I almost wish that the thing was completely destroyed, so people wouldn't be tempted to waste time and money restoring it. I'm rather surprised that so few people on this board, of all places, feel this way.

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Tribble » 2019-04-17 02:07pm

houser2112 wrote:
2019-04-17 01:31pm
Tribble wrote:
2019-04-15 04:30pm
I admit I have mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand I am very much saddened by the loss of such a irreplaceable historical and cultural treasure. On the other hand the atheist in me feels that at the end of the day this building was little more than a symbol of the decadence of an oppressive religion and was built at great time and expense for little more reason than to worship an imaginary being. Best use of resources and manpower at the time it was not IMO. Yes yes it’s made more than enough back over the centuries, but still...

So while I do mourn its loss I am rather iffy on whether or not it should be rebuilt as opposed to building something else on the site, and what the site should be used for. It may be worth it just on economic side of things due to the amount of tourism it generated. And from a historical and culturally perspective I could see why many would want it rebuilt.
This is exactly how I feel about it. It's a shame that such a beautiful structure is destroyed, but churches are a collosal waste of space. I almost wish that the thing was completely destroyed, so people wouldn't be tempted to waste time and money restoring it. I'm rather surprised that so few people on this board, of all places, feel this way.
Well, ya. I mean, apparently close to a billion dollars have already been raised so far to repair it... good luck raising that kind of money that quickly for things like, oh I dunno, children starving to death? Or are the millions of refugees needing aid? Etc etc.

It’s that kind of (admittedly expected) response that makes me question the whole thing. We’ll raise a billion dollars in a couple of days to fix a religious cult building (no matter how beautiful and well engineered thats what it is at the end of the day) but not other things? It kinda shows how we tend to skew priorities IMHO.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by houser2112 » 2019-04-17 03:05pm

Not sure if this belongs here, or a new thread in GEC, but apparently Ubisoft is giving away Assassins Creed Unity, a game that takes place in late 18th century France and has the cathedral as a centerpiece, for a limited time.

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Tribble » 2019-04-17 03:24pm

houser2112 wrote:
2019-04-17 03:05pm
Not sure if this belongs here, or a new thread in GEC, but apparently Ubisoft is giving away Assassins Creed Unity, a game that takes place in late 18th century France and has the cathedral as a centerpiece, for a limited time.
.....

Now THAT is one of the best derailing posts I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not sure who I should credit more, you or Ubisoft? Well done :lol:
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-04-17 04:20pm

My vote for rebuilding the roof (not that it matters because I have no say anyway) would be something like the "iron forest" of Chartres. There is historical precedent, it would be less flammable, and really, the medieval folks built with wooden beams and lead cladding in large part because that's what they had available. If they had had modern materials they probably would have used them.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-04-17 04:58pm

Yeah, metal frame would be preferable from fire safety perspective. It would be impossible to have similar fire unless attic is recklessly crammed full of combustible stuff.
If they decide to use wood laminated wooden beams of required size are available. If soft woods are acceptable substitute to oak then finding suitable trees to make one piece beams should be possible. It would look a bit different, but attic is not accessible to tourists so material choice for roof frame wouldn't impact the historical look and feel of the building.

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-04-17 06:55pm

This is the "iron forest" that holds up the roof at Chartres:

Image

And the exterior:
Image

I think that from an aesthetic viewpoint it fits well with the Gothic architecture, and internally it does the job in a safer manner than centuries-old oak beams.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-04-17 09:39pm

Notre Dame fire: Macron's five-year rebuilding pledge is unrealistic, experts warn
"It will certainly take years, perhaps even decades, until the last damage caused by this terrible fire will be completely repaired."



Cathedrals often took more than a century to build in medieval times, a process that sometimes spanned the lives of several monarchs.

So French President Emmanuel Macron's pledge Tuesday to restore the fire-devastated Notre Dame within five years was at odds with experts who predicted that restoring the jewel of Gothic architecture would most likely take much longer.

A host of specialized artisans and skilled workmen will need to be gathered from around France, and likely beyond. These include master stone-cutters, mortar makers, carpenters, roofers, quarrymen and sculptors.

Speaking before Macron's announcement, Emily Guerry, a professor of medieval history at England's University of Kent, anticipated restoration work on the 850-year-old icon would take around two decades.

“This will be the largest, most important cultural renovation project in France for some time to come,” she said, adding that the process would be “very delicate.”

Jean-Claude Bellanger, secretary-general of Les Compagnons du Devoir, an organization that provides training in manual trades, told Le Parisian newspaper that the niche nature of the work would require an influx of new talent.

“We need to open some 100 places in our carpentry, stone-cutting and roofing sections,” he said, with at least 300 more skilled tradesmen also needing training.

A decade is necessary to train some of the specialized workers required for such a project, Bellanger added.

Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the 800-year-old roof that went up in flames was built with wood from forests that have all but disappeared.

It won't be rebuilt precisely as it was before because "we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century," he told The Associated Press.

But before any work could even start, the building has to be made safe, according to Fondation du Patrimoine.

"There is still a risk of collapse of any part of the church, so the priority goes to the 'securitization' of the area to make sure that experts can go safely into the church," said Julien Guinhut, the head of communication and fundraising at the organization. "We are deeply concerned that we could have structural issues."

Macron's promise was aimed at galvanizing a nation reeling after a blaze tore through the 12th-century landmark.

And with around $1 billion raised in donations for Notre Dames's reconstruction, Macron appeared confident it could be made whole again in time for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

"We have so much to reconstruct," he said. "So yes, we will rebuild the Cathedral of Notre Dame more beautifully. And I would like it to be achieved in five years from now. We can do it. And we will mobilize."

But the timescale of similar projects suggests Macron might be focusing on optimism over realism.

The Gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, was badly damaged during World War II and work to repair it is still going on more than 70 years later.

"This is certainly a tragedy with a European dimension, because the Gothic style was invented in France,” Peter Fuessenich, who is leading the reconstruction in Cologne, told the AP. "It will certainly take years, perhaps even decades, until the last damage caused by this terrible fire will be completely repaired.”

Pierluigi Pericolo, who is in charge of restoration and security at the St. Donatian basilica in the French city of Nantes, said it could take two to five years just to secure and stabilize Notre Dame, given its size.

"It's a fundamental step, and very complex, because it's difficult to send workers into a monument whose vaulted ceilings are swollen with water," he said on France Info. "The end of the fire doesn't mean the edifice is totally saved. The stone can deteriorate when it is exposed to high temperatures and change its mineral composition and fracture inside."

Historians and experts in medieval architecture tried to assuage worries around the world about the future of Notre Dame, saying that such disasters were natural in the lifespan of such buildings.

Sara Uckelman, a professor at Britain’s Durham University, pointed out that the cathedral has endured sieges and two world wars.

“I'm finding that my background and training as a medievalist means I'm, overall, finding it a lot less devastating than many people,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I know how churches live. They are not static monuments to the past. They are built, they get burned, they are rebuilt, they are extended, they get ransacked, they get rebuilt, they collapse because they were not built well, they get rebuilt, they get extended, they get renovated, they get bombed, they get rebuilt."

Uckelman added, “It is the continuous presence, not the original structure, that matters."
Sara Uckelman, the professor quoted in this article, is a Countess in the SCA, and is well-known for her study of Medieval Buildings.
She had this to say in a SCA FB Forum: "The funny thing is, as a result of my FB post, I've now done four media interviews, had to decline a fifth, AND have had the piece picked up in a number of online newspapers and news sources, such as the Miami Herald, Yahoo News, and NBC News, in my capacity as An Official Academic. And yet, none of what I have to say stems from any of my academic credentials. It has, more than anything else, its roots in my SCA activity that has let me grapple with historic in a very holistic way. I know that we haven't lost the medieval stonemason techniques, because *I know people who still use them.*"

Also, on her FB Page:
Sara Uckleman wrote:While what has happened to Notre Dame today has shocked me and moved me to tears more than once over the course of the evening, I'm finding that my background and training as a medievalist means I'm, overall, finding it a lot less devastating than many people.

Why?

Because I know how churches live. They are not static monuments to the past. They are built, they get burned, they are rebuilt, they are extended, they get ransacked, they get rebuilt, they collapse because they were not built well, they get rebuilt, they get extended, they get renovated, they get bombed, they get rebuilt. It is the continuous presence, not the original structure, that matters.

The spire that fell, that beautiful iconic spire? Not even 200 years old. A new spire can be built, the next stage in the evolution of the cathedral.

The rose windows? Reproductions of the originals. We can reproduce them again.

Notre Dame is one of the best documented cathedrals in the world. We have the knowledge we need to rebuild it.

But more than that: We have the skill. There may not be as many ecclesiastical stone masons nowadays as there were in the height of the Middle Ages, but there are still plenty, and I bet masons from all over Europe, if not further, will be standing ready to contribute to rebuilding. Same with glaziers, carpenters, etc.

Precious artworks and relics may have been lost. There is report of one fireman seriously injured, but so far, from what I've read, no one else, and no deaths.

This isn't the first time Notre Dame has burned. I'm dead certain it won't be the last.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2019-04-17 10:53pm

houser2112 wrote:
2019-04-17 01:31pm
This is exactly how I feel about it. It's a shame that such a beautiful structure is destroyed, but churches are a collosal waste of space. I almost wish that the thing was completely destroyed, so people wouldn't be tempted to waste time and money restoring it. I'm rather surprised that so few people on this board, of all places, feel this way.
Because the world is not black and white. We perceive everything through a complicated series of historical and cultural filters. There's no contradiction in simultaneously believing that organized religion is an ignoble institution that should not be venerated AND that Notre Dame was an important piece of artistic heritage AND that while it would be nice to see it being restored it is also a shame that people's interest in where money is spent is not always aligned with what would be most productive and helpful.

I don't understand why anyone would believe that these things are mutually exclusive with one another.

I also don't understand why someone can't say "Oh wow, Notre Dame burned. That sucks" without accompanying it with an appendix that carefully delineates all of that someone's beliefs about religion, history, colonialism, and every other category even tangentially related with Notre Dame.

Not everything is black and white. And not every statement needs an asterisk.

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-18 06:08am

Man arrested trying to enter St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York with gas cans, lighter fluid and lighters:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... -cathedral
Only days after flames ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a man has been arrested after entering St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, according to the New York Police Department.

The unidentified 37-year-old from New Jersey had pulled up in a minivan outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, walked around the area, then returned to his vehicle at 7.55pm and retrieved the gasoline and lighter fluid, said the NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism, John Miller.

“As he enters the cathedral he’s confronted by a cathedral security officer who asks him where he’s going and informs him he can’t proceed into the cathedral carrying these things,” said Miller. “At that point some gasoline apparently spills out on to the floor as he’s turned around.”

Security then notified officers from the counter-terrorism bureau who were standing outside, he said. The officers caught the man and arrested him after he was questioned.

“His basic story was he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue. That his car had run out of gas,” Miller said. “We took a look at the vehicle. It was not out of gas and at that point he was taken into custody.”

“It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over,” Miller added. “His story is not consistent.”

Miller said the suspect was known to police, who were looking into his background.

St Patrick’s Cathedral was built in 1878 and installed a sprinkler-like system during recent renovations. Its wooden roof is also coated with fire-retardant.
This might be the first time I can recall of someone trying to commit a copycat crime of an accident.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Zaune » 2019-04-18 06:37am

Maybe he thought the cathedral could do with a big donation drive for some renovation work?
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-04-18 07:09am

houser2112 wrote:
2019-04-17 01:31pm
This is exactly how I feel about it. It's a shame that such a beautiful structure is destroyed, but churches are a collosal waste of space. I almost wish that the thing was completely destroyed, so people wouldn't be tempted to waste time and money restoring it. I'm rather surprised that so few people on this board, of all places, feel this way.
Well, hell - why not quarry the Great Pyramids of Egypt for building materials - tombs are such a waste of space and isn't recycling a good thing? Why give a damn about the Parthenon, which is just another place of worship? All those Aztec and Mayan pyramids? Tear them down!

It's not just Notre Dame is a place of worship, there's also a historical value to the place. At which point the debate usually veers into "authenticity" and what qualifies. Nevermind that renovation in such buildings started as soon as the building did, either from structural/engineering necessity or patrons trying to outspend each other on the decorations.

And, fundamentally, it's up to the French to decide what happens, be it tear-down or rebuild. The rest of the world can help or not, comment or not, but the cathedral belongs to France and if they want to rebuild it then it's their call. People calling that a waste remind me of people calling space exploration a waste, or spending money on making block-busting movies a waste - different people value different things, big surprise, right?
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by ray245 » 2019-04-18 07:56am

A church isn't just a church. Esepcially if it is a monolithic cathedral. Monuments are an expression of a society's self-image, and how nations express their sense of identity.
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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by houser2112 » 2019-04-18 08:35am

Broomstick wrote:
2019-04-18 07:09am
houser2112 wrote:
2019-04-17 01:31pm
This is exactly how I feel about it. It's a shame that such a beautiful structure is destroyed, but churches are a collosal waste of space. I almost wish that the thing was completely destroyed, so people wouldn't be tempted to waste time and money restoring it. I'm rather surprised that so few people on this board, of all places, feel this way.
Well, hell - why not quarry the Great Pyramids of Egypt for building materials - tombs are such a waste of space and isn't recycling a good thing? Why give a damn about the Parthenon, which is just another place of worship? All those Aztec and Mayan pyramids? Tear them down!
Don't put words in my mouth. I'm not advocating for tearing down religious monuments just because they're wastes of space, however true that may or may not be. I'm just saying that there are countless better uses for the land, time, and money than restoring it.
It's not just Notre Dame is a place of worship, there's also a historical value to the place. At which point the debate usually veers into "authenticity" and what qualifies. Nevermind that renovation in such buildings started as soon as the building did, either from structural/engineering necessity or patrons trying to outspend each other on the decorations.
I'm an atheist; I really couldn't care less that a place of worship burned down with no fatalities. The Catholic Church is bleeding adherents, and churches are closing left and right (in general, not sure about Paris in particular). Where the people are going to worhip now is not a particularly pressing issue, even if I were one to care about such things. I recognize the historic and artistic value it and other monuments have, and I agree it's a tragedy when they are destroyed.
And, fundamentally, it's up to the French to decide what happens, be it tear-down or rebuild. The rest of the world can help or not, comment or not, but the cathedral belongs to France and if they want to rebuild it then it's their call. People calling that a waste remind me of people calling space exploration a waste, or spending money on making block-busting movies a waste - different people value different things, big surprise, right?
Of course, I never said otherwise. I just can't help but think when I read about people donating money for the restoration about how many more noble purposes that money could go to. THIS is what motivates people to be charitable?

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-04-18 09:08am

If it's a lack of religious overtones you want... it's value as a tourist attraction alone might justify the expense.

Aside from that - during the French Revolution the cathedral was re-purposed for purely secular purposes, like food storage. I'm entirely OK with Notre Dame losing its status as "church" and being used for secular purposes, ceremonies of state, tourism, etc. Rather like the USSR and currently Russia repurposed old buildings for the benefit of their nation, resulting in an atheist government preserving something like St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow.

You may not have a religion, you might even be anti-religion, but religion has been a big part of history. It's what drove people in the Middle Ages to build lasting structures out of stone, among many other things that have been handed down to us.

There are a lot of Gothic-era churches that, when they burn, are not of sufficient interest to be rebuilt. Notre Dame is not one of them because of its historical context.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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