Notre Dame: how a rebuilt cathedral could be just as wonderful
“The destruction of Notre Dame cathedral is lamentable. A wonderful icon has been largely destroyed by fire. However, we should not despair”. Claire Smith and Jordan Ralph, both affiliated with the Flinders University in Australia, write in an article on The Conversation that a western way of thinking where material authenticity is regarded highly, is only adding to the feeling of loss. In other parts of the world however, authenticity is determined in relation to its location and setting, use and function, spirit and feeling, and well as form and materials.
Although the guidelines of the Venice Charter demand a visual distinction between original and restored parts of the building, a method of reconstruction which more closely approximates the original would definitely be more visually pleasing.
Although such a method is undesirable to many, many notable examples in other parts of the world can show us, that this does not necessarily make an historic site less authentic.