“French experts deny renovation to remove centures of grime from inside Chartres cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, is a "cultural disaster", as workers discover remnants of the French Revolution in their eight-year makeover.”
Het is vooral de Amerikaanse architect Martin Filler en diens vrouw de kunsthistorica Rosemarie Haag Bletter die zich enorm hebben opgewonden over het interieur dat veel te licht van kleur zou zijn geworden.
"The notion that we can recreate the exact quality of the building when it was new by such artificial means is as wrongheaded as an ageing actress thinking she can recapture her lost youth by having a facelift," he said afterwards. In a scathing article in the New York Review of Books, he accused the project’s architect, Patrice Calvel, of a cultural travesty tantamount to 'adding arms to the Venus de Milo'."
Maar er is meer kritiek, onder meer van de kant van de lokale media.
“Joining the chorus of complaint, US-based critic and Gothic art fan, Stefan Evans, has initiated an online petition which has gathered just over 500 signatures. "Irresponsible restoration is erasing history from the Gothic masterpiece," it says. The petition is co-signed by Sophie Guillouet, a professor at the nearby university of Rouen. But France's state authorities for culture played down the criticism, saying they had received no direct complaints.”
De restauratie moet in 2017 klaar zijn. Deze video geeft een goed beeld van de kathedraal.