Macron’s wife proposed “Phallus and Golden Balls” spire for Notre-Dame

The French government wanted a modernist redesign of Notre-Dame, according to its former culture minister, with President Macron’s wife putting up a new spire resembling male genitalia.

Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, who served as Minister of Culture under Prime Minister Jean Castex and by extension President Emmanuel Macron from 2020 to 2022, claims in her autobiography that the government wanted to make a kind of modernist statement in the reconstruction of the fire. -damaged 800-year-old cathedral, The times reports.

“When I returned to the ministry, the office was in a state of stress: the Élysée Palace dreamed of an ‘architectural gesture’ and accused me of just doing what I want,” she wrote, referring to the French president’s official. housing.

Bachelot, who appears to have insisted on as faithful a reconstruction of the Catholic cathedral as possible, said she “did not regret this disobedience” after Brigitte Macron, the French president’s controversial wife, showed her a proposed design “topped with a kind of erect phallus with the base surrounded by golden balls” at a meeting.

As much of the global architectural establishment was actively hostile to building in traditional styles, denouncing this as “pastiche” and insisting that all new buildings must appear “modern”, there was a concerted effort to try to advance modernist aesthetics at Notre -Dame as restoration of the damaged exterior and broken spire was discussed in the wake of the 2019 fire.

Architects proposed destroying the cathedral with such features as a glass roof, a steel spire or even a minaret – a tribute to Muslim Algerians in the country – in the wake of the fire.

The allegedly conservative Telegraph newspaper in Britain published an article saying “it would be a travesty to rebuild a badly damaged Notre Dame as a facsimile of the original” instead of pursuing “bold and uncompromising modernity”, while a Harvard professor in America went as far as saying that the destruction of a Christian building “so overloaded with meaning … feels like an act of liberation”.

The French government encouraged such imaginings to begin with, with Macron’s prime minister saying they would “ask the question whether we should even recreate the germ as it was conceived [or] as is often the case in the development of heritage, we should give Notre-Dame a new spire” – but public pressure and possibly internal lobbying by Bachelot eventually made them commit to a faithful restoration of the cathedral’s exterior.

The building’s interior may not be safe, but leaked plans for a Disneyland-style reimagining of the cathedral that emphasizes diversity and climate change are causing controversy in late 2021.

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