Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Oh Non!

incendie catastrophique
  [vote for,

Democracy nearly lost, and now 800 years of culture. Our descendants will simply write us off as a confused and lost generation.
RayfordSteele, Apr 15 2019

Ship of Theseus https://en.wikipedi...iki/Ship_of_Theseus
Which is the "real" one ? [8th of 7, Apr 16 2019]

Douglas Adams https://www.goodrea...ing-been-to-see-the
[calum, Apr 16 2019]

I was never anywhere __when the ____ ____ database I_20was_20never_20a...5f_5f_5f_20database
put yourself out of the frame [not_morrison_rm, Apr 16 2019]

Durable building materials https://www.constru...led-plastic-bottles
With the current shortage of skilled craftsmen Philippe could rebuild Notre Dame by recycling France. [whatrock, Apr 18 2019]


       It will be excruciatingly expensive to restore ...   


       "The Bills ! The Bills ! "   

8th of 7, Apr 15 2019

       If they have to restore it in accordance with modern building regs, they're going to have problems. For a start, all the stained glass is going to have to be double-glazed with a decent U-value. Then there's all those uninsulated walls, total lack of wheelchair access up the spire... It'll take a while.   

       As far as I can tell, restoration is about the most dangerous thing you can do to a building. Wasn't there some Scotch building that went up in smoke whilst it was being restored after damage from a previous fire?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 15 2019

       A Hugo loss, to be sure.
theircompetitor, Apr 16 2019

       Restoring it will be awkward, as it will never be the original. Do you try and reproduce the original as faithfully as you can, or do you respect its loss and do a modern take? Both options disappoint in their own way.   

       Somewhere there is a contractor now drinking himself to death who may never work again.
RayfordSteele, Apr 16 2019

       We consider it a reasonably safe bet that if said contractor does actually drink himself to death, he will literally never work again.   

       Dead people have a consistently poor record of achieving agreed completion dates.   

       // A Hugo loss, to be sure. //   

       Yes, there are no Victors in this situation ...   

       // total lack of wheelchair access up the spire... //   

       The simple solution is just to get one of the bell-ringers to hump the wheelchairs up and down the stairs ...
8th of 7, Apr 16 2019

       //Restoring it will be awkward, as it will never be the original. Do you try and reproduce the original as faithfully as you can, or do you respect its loss// - it's a very sad loss for Paris, but this does rise a question about what is "original". For example, the spire which collapsed was a nineteenth-century addition, so should it be replaced, and if so, should we be faithful to nineteenth-century building methods, or as this 'original' nineteenth-century spire was trying to recreate an older medieval spire, should the restoration use only medieval materials and techniques? Or should they build an unashamedly twentyfirst-century spire from glass and steel?
hippo, Apr 16 2019

       Notre Damn!
xenzag, Apr 16 2019

       // this does rise a question about what is "original". //   

       No doubt the members of the Restoration Committee will be eating Big Dinners at someone else's expense for decades ... <link>
8th of 7, Apr 16 2019

       Make the structure safe but inside the shell build a ski jump so that tourists can fly through the aperture of the rose window and, at for the fleeting perfect zenith of their jump, hang as if weightless over the Parisian night.
calum, Apr 16 2019

       ...before landing in the Seine (cue traditional "You're in Seine!!!" joke)
hippo, Apr 16 2019

       Maybe that's the answer then, to treat it as a slowly, continuously evolving piece, always having some improvement or addition requiring a portion to be cordoned off, perhaps working at the speed of its first 200 years of construction. People will be free to imagine the final product. "Well, no, ma'am, it won't be done for another 130 years, you've got to take your time with these sorts of projects and do them right. Whut? No, I don't know what it will look like in the end, I just know a few of the current details... there will be a spire over there, and a rotating stained glass window here, yes, like that one in Scotland..."   

       We could call it 'Our Lady of Perpetual Construction.'   

       Or we could just knock it down and build a Starbucks there. After a short time, people will be so angry at the blatant capitalism that they won't care whether its replacement will be that faithful to the original or not.
RayfordSteele, Apr 16 2019

       //...before landing in the Seine (cue traditional "You're in Seine!!!" joke) — hippo,   

       Similar one about Cairo "You're in denial'...(waits for groans, applause...nothing)
not_morrison_rm, Apr 16 2019

       //a slowly, continuously evolving piece, always having some improvement or addition requiring a portion to be cordoned off, perhaps working at the speed of its first 200 years of construction//
cf. the Sagrada Familia
calum, Apr 16 2019

       //the Sagrada Familia//   

       Aka the church of Beaker and his family. Once you see Beaker's face in the center spire-thing, you can't unsee it.   

       A modern take on creating saints for the altar could be employed. I'm thinking saints as fractals in an impossible curve of mini, micro, and nano-saints standing on their shoulders. The same could be done with the gargoyles.   

       Another thought is that all of those saints just sitting or standing around need to be doing something. There needs to be a marble run integrated into the highest spires that run around the nave, activating the sculptures in some hinged joints at their knees and hips to do whatever it is that saints do. The marble run could end at the altar into a giant plinko game which replaces Friday bingo as a source of income to keep the place going. Is it a house of prayer? Is it a giant rolling ball sculpture? Is it a den of robbers? Is it a Dave and Busters?
RayfordSteele, Apr 16 2019

       Interestingly, there are already signs that the restoration of the cathedral won't be a recreation of what was there before, but will be more of a modern replacement of what was lost. For example, The Guardian reports today that "The French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has announced an international architecture competition to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral. Philippe said the competition aimed to give “Notre Dame a spire adapted to techniques and challenges of our times.”".
hippo, Apr 17 2019

       I forgot to come here when this occurred. I always come here when there is a global loss. I like to be among like minded souls. Please forgive me for losing touch with my comfort zone. I will think of something mildly interesting to say at some point. For now, I'm still grieving.
blissmiss, Apr 17 2019

       // a spire adapted to techniques and challenges of our times // could only mean one thing: Plastics.   

       France has been lagging much of the planet in recycling much of anything, the lazy louts. Philippe might see his way clear to harvesting all the otherwise trashed plastics in his country (as well as the Atlantic plastic gyre) to rebuild the spire, if not the entire destroyed portions of Notre Dame.
whatrock, Apr 17 2019

       No no no. Graphene space elevator spire. It could be a great stairway to heaven. You could send angels up and down carrying loads destined for the lunar colony. Could it be that the real reason we have always stacked rocks and built spires and steeples was because some time-traveling astronaut programmed us to achieve a space elevator and save our collective humanity from this lost and doomed rock?
RayfordSteele, Apr 17 2019

       Did you remember to take your medication today, [Ray] ? You mustn't listen to the Voices when they tell you to do Bad Things ...   

       In former times, the catholic church was supposedly fairly wealthy and could have afforded the rebuild costs out if petty cash ... but now what with paying all that child support, legal fees, and compensation to the victims of all those kiddie-fiddling priests, they have to get money off the public ...   

       As to the replacement spire, why not approach SpaceX for a spare launcher ...?
8th of 7, Apr 17 2019

       I will certainly be submitting several proposals for this most exciting project. At least one will involve a substantial roof top water feature with synchronised swimmers dressed as Quasimodo flying through the air, illuminated with blue strobes, search lights and lasers.
xenzag, Apr 18 2019

       Maybe instead of looking up, from the inside, and seeing a self gratifying architectural and artistic point that has to be rebuilt, now try and marvel at all those far away points to be reached.
wjt, Apr 18 2019

       (wonders if their is a market for a Notre Dame Foil barbeque?)
not_morrison_rm, Apr 18 2019

       (^ [+])
Other options, of course :

       - minaret (hey, France)
- all-season tennis courts
- indoor bungee jumping
- bouncy castle

       Probably end up as high-end condos, though. Have to ream out the crypts for parking, but sacrifices must be made.
FlyingToaster, Apr 18 2019

       Are we sure this wasn't an insurance scam to pay for new cathedral roof repairs?
Skewed, Apr 21 2019

       [Skewed], always digging around for the truth, aren't you. And well...the firemen sure did take their time getting there. Hmmm, great conspiracy theory.
blissmiss, Apr 21 2019

       //great conspiracy theory//   

       I was just saying, but if you want a conspiracy theory I'll see what I can do..   


       OK here goes.   

       "Isn't it curious how the bees on the roof managed to survive? did someone move them before the fire? why? what about that crown of thorns & those stained glass windows? suspicious that isn't it? I reckon Macron did it & it was meant to go off as the Gilets jaunes went by at the weekend so he could use it as propaganda against them, useless sod can't even set a timer right!"   

       How's that?
Skewed, Apr 21 2019

       Needs a grassy knoll.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2019

       That'd be where they stashed the windows & beehives until they could put them back after the fire was out, mark my words, the reports of sightings of colorful window ornamentation & beehives seen in the cathedral garden during the fire are only a few key strokes away.   

       [Hmm.. now where did I put that make-your-own-fake-news- website-for-dummies manual?]
Skewed, Apr 21 2019


The room is very dimly lit by a single central pendant incandescent lamp. The air is thick with tobacco smoke. SC is a TABLE and CHAIRS. The TABLE is covered in coffee cups, filled ashtrays, part-used packets of Disque Bleu and Gauloise, glossy magazines with french titles, and plates with partially-eaten croissants.

On the CHAIRS sit the CONSPIRATORS. They cannot be seen clearly because of the thick smoke and the dim lighting, but are wearing dark uniforms. Some have luxuriant moustaches, and wear berets.

In the centre of the TABLE is a MAP OF PARIS. It is dirty, creased, and covered in pen and pencil marks. It is kept flat by assorted items of used crockery around its perimiter.
The CONSPIRATORS speak in English, but in an outrageous parody of a french accent.

PIERRE: You're serious ? That's all we've made this month ?

JEAN: I'm sorry. Just the eight million Euro. They're all pleading poverty.

CLAUDE: (derisive snort) HAH ! Bourgeois bastards ... lying as usual ...

PIERRE: It's hardly worth being a fireman if that's all we can get.

JEAN: (Gallic shrug)

ARMAND: Well, who else has got money ?

PIERRE: What about the City Council ?

CLAUDE: No, forget it. They've spent all their contingency money dealing with the Yellow Shirts.


JEAN: Is it worth torching a few hotels ?

PIERRE: You must be joking. The buggers all have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems now. We make a bit in backhanders to issue safety certificates without actually inspecting, but it's not like the good old days.

CLAUDE: Airports ?

JEAN: No, the boys on site have that stitched up.

ARMAND: What about the churches ?

OMNES: Ahhhhh !

PIERRE: It's been a while since we tapped them, and they're rolling in it too. All those tourists !

JEAN: Their alarm systems are pretty sketchy ... too mean to pay for modern kit.

ARMAND: Is there much to burn ? There's a lot of stone in those places.

PIERRE:, Yes, but a lot of wood ... pews, roofs, all sorts of decorative stuff.

ARMAND: So, how ?

CLAUDE: Ach, s' a piece of cake. Electrical fault. Everyone knows they have ancient, dodgy wiring. Besides, we'll be the ones running the investigation.

OMNES: (sniggering)

JEAN: So, where do we hit ?

CLAUDE: Somewhere big, somewhere high profile.

PIERRE: Sacre Coer.

ARMAND: Stuff that for a game of soldiers, all those bloody steps ? Lugging hoses up that hill ? No way.

JEAN: Yes, somewhere low down, easy access ... by the river ...
CLAUDE: Notre Dame.

OMNES: (Indrawn breath)

JEAN: Well, it's certianly ambitious ...

CLAUDE: Nice and central. World heritage too. Get a LOT of publicity ... and if we save it "just in time" we'll be heroes.

PIERRE: Nice one, Centurion

JEAN: It won't half put the wind up the rest of 'em. A couple of weeks wandering round churces on the pump-ladder, "Oooh, reverend, look at all this flammable stuff you've got ... go up like a bonfire, this place ... you know, might be worth investing a few euro to ensure a prompt response ... after all, just a bit of bad traffic, faulty hydrants, leaky pipes... and you're preaching in a building site for the next decade. It can happen so easilly, eh ? Word to the wise ? Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, eh ?"

ARMAND: (Hums tune to "Happy Days Are Here Again")


(The CONSPIRATORS fist-bump and high-five one another)

PIERRE: I think that concludes this finance committee meeting, Monsieurs ...

JEAN: Anyone got a box of matches ?

OMNES: (Guffaws of laughter)


8th of 7, Apr 21 2019


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