President Donald Trump has expressed his faith in the reconstruction effort now underway in Paris to revive the Notre Dame cathedral, stating its completion would give “glory to God” and fill millions of people “with wonder and awe”.
The comments came during President Trump’s keynote speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland Tuesday. Following wide-ranging remarks on the strengths of the U.S. economy under his leadership, rising employment, and spreading global trade, the President moved to how the world should work to strengthen civilisation itself.
Referring to Notre Dame in Paris, which lost much of its medieval roof and spire in a massive fire last year and is now the focus of a massive rebuilding effort attracting expertise and donations from across the globe, President Trump said the cathedral “continues to hold such a grip on our hearts and our souls that even 800 years after its construction, when the Cathedral of Notre Dame was engulfed in flames last year — such a sad sight to watch, an unbelievable sight especially for those of us that considered it one of the great monuments and representing so many different things — the whole world grieved.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 15, 2019
Acknowledging the important impact great architecture has on uplifting humanity, the President continued:
Though her sanctuary now stands scorched and charred, a sight that’s hard to believe… but we know that Nore Dame will be restored magnificently. The great bells will once again ring out for all to hear.
Giving glory to God and filling millions with wonder and awe. The cathedrals of Europe inspire us to pursue big dreams, daring adventures, and unbridled ambitions. They urge us to consider not only what we build today, but also will endure long after we are gone. They testify to the power of ordinary people to realise extraordinary achievements when united by a grand and noble purpose.
While praising the march of technology and science to better the lives of ordinary people, the also President made remarks which were unashamedly pro-Traditionalism, a massive departure from the usual perspective of global leaders which often ignores the difficult to commodify impact of art, beauty, and faith. In a rallying call to drive civilisation onwards, the President said:
So together, we must go forward with confidence, determination and vision. We must not be timid, or meek, or fearful. But instead, we must boldly seize the day and embrace the moment… we will draw strength from the glories of the past and we will make greatness our common mission for the future. Together we will make our nations stronger, our countries safer, our culture richer, our people freeer, and our world more beautiful than ever before.
While the remarks are a ringing endorsement for a rebuilding of Notre Dame that is recognisable and uplifting to ordinary people, these may jar with the vision of French President Emmanuel Macron and modernist architects who are agitating for a plate-glass reconstruction to capture the “spirit of the time”.
Which way the rebuild will go is a matter of ongoing debate within France and it is not yet clear which side will win out. Breitbart London reported in May 2019 that the French senate, which is more conservative than the French executive, voted against the “inventive” plate-glass plans and sought to block a modernist design. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, on the other hand, is leading those calling for an “identical” reconstruction.
Modernists Defeated: French Government Forces Traditional Rebuild of Notre Dame https://t.co/ZV0YHKtz2v
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 29, 2019