Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Notre-Dame: Rebuilding a Masterpiece of the Human Spirit is Everybody’s Concern – L’Humanité.

with 10 comments


The French communist daily today expressed the thoughts of millions of people across the world.

Le terrible incendie a failli détruire le chef-d’œuvre de l’esprit et de l’histoire qu’est Notre-Dame. Après une immense vague d’émotion, sa reconstruction est l’affaire de toutes et tous, de ceux qui croient au ciel, comme ceux qui n’y croient pas.

The terrible fire nearly destroyed  the masterpiece of the spirit and of history that is  Notre-Dame. After an immense wave of emotion, its reconstruction is the business of everyone, of those who believe in heaven, as much as those who do not believe in it.

Lines from the Communist Poet Louis Aragon.




Written by Andrew Coates

April 17, 2019 at 12:33 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Though the Notre Dame is French government property, before the fire the government was unwilling to spend more than the measly 2 million euro a year on the restoration.

    If they would have spent more, then there would have been more fire safety.

    When restoring old buildings, said Gerry Tierney of the San Francisco-based firm Perkins and Will, “You have to have a 24-hour fire watch if there has been any heat-source activity going on, because as soon as it breaks out, you’ve got to have somebody trying to get there as fast as possible.”

    Catastrophic fires are typically bound up with cost-cutting on fire safety staffing levels, said the University of South Florida’s Edward Lewis: “In my experience, it starts with human error, which stems from inadequate supervision levels and disregard for fire prevention procedures… On a lot of construction jobs, the ratio between supervisors and workers isn’t adequate.”



    April 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm

  2. Doing God’s Work
    Nearly a Billion given to restore a building for the worship of something which does not exist For if it did would it have been burnt.
    Compare it to Grenfell that building was peoples homes over 70 murdered and the survivors still homeless

    Scott Reeve

    April 17, 2019 at 12:53 pm

  3. Hi Scot Reeve, Grenfell should not be counterposed to the Notre Dame. Both disasters are examples of pro-capitalist government austerity leading to neglect of fire safety.

    On Grenfell, see very many blog posts under


    Very many atheists are upset and/or angry about the Notre Dame fire. It is not just a church, but a place where you can see the history of architecture, stained glass windows, sculpture etc. It attracts 15 million visitors a year; probably the great majority of them not Roman Catholic.


    April 17, 2019 at 1:57 pm

  4. …..symbolises Paris in the eyes of France and the world, a witness of our history, which has resisted the ravages of time and wars. Tens of thousands of Parisians came to contemplate with their own eyes this disaster.

    Andrew Coates

    April 17, 2019 at 4:35 pm

  5. Scott Reeve. Grenfell was built bya Labour Council, and for most of its life was run by Labour. When it burns down it’s always somebody else’s fault.

    Dave Roberts

    April 17, 2019 at 6:56 pm

  6. There no no need to go to San Francisco, to paraphrase a song from 1967. The usual way these tragedies happen, as is claimed, is by poor supervision. Smoking and plumbing where fire is required. In my experience as a builder and now chartered surveyor the failure of small things leads to big bad things.

    Dave Roberts

    April 17, 2019 at 7:27 pm

  7. Dear Andrew, you missed a very important point: the way the government, the media and all French parties from the Left to the Far Right are using this event to prevent the greatness of the “French nation”. Even quoting the historian Marc Bloch (shot by the nazis) who wrote that somebody who was not moved by Reims Cathedral and the “Fete de la Fédération” is not really French («Qui n’a pas vibré au sacre de Reims et à la fête de la Fédération n’est pas vraiment français.» ). A rather disgusting quote…. In this historical period where the poison of nationalism is influencing the political analysis of all parties, including the Far Left (why do you systematically oppose Brexit if you support French nationalism around Notre Dame ?), you should be aware of these political manipulations based on emotions which tend to support French nationalism….. L’Humanité which you quote has aways promoted French nationalism even when its directors when negotiating with the nazis to have the right to publish their daily or proposing their services as testimonies at Leon Blum’s trial (leader of the SFIO) during the Vichy régime…. National communists are people of the worst kind on the Left


    April 18, 2019 at 8:28 am

  8. Sorry you should read to promote and not to prevent !


    April 18, 2019 at 8:29 am

  9. Another important fact: Notre Dame “national catastroph” (dixit Macron) happened just the day he was going to announce measures which were supposed to stop the Gilets jaunes revolt. He is using Notre Dame to push French people to shut up and unite, to stop dividing the population along political lines. Anyway his measures were leaked to the press and dont impress anybody. AT my job nobody takes them seriously and even go as far as imagining a conspiracy to burn Notre Dame !!!. So Macron is in a very difficult situation and has to use Notre Dame national symbol as much as he can to divert the attention of the workers who have been hit by his past “reforms” and will be hit even more by his future reforms (pensions, social security, school system, collective contracts, etc.). Notre Dame has to be understood in a political context. Not to mention all the propaganda French catholics and priests have been promoting since Monday…. The Church is also using NOtre Dame to promote its interests !


    April 18, 2019 at 9:48 am

  10. No doubt but I follow Nad who commented,

    “Et ce n’est pas demain qu’on me fera rougir de honte, parce que j’aime les cathédrales, les monuments et l’Histoire. Il y a des luxes dont je ne me passe pas, même pour correspondre aux clichés de l’avant garde. “

    Andrew Coates

    April 18, 2019 at 12:18 pm

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