Thursday, 29 March 2012

Up The Catholics

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Up The Catholics ~

Untitled, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.
Notre-Dame de Paris has quite a few secrets to reveal to those who care to wade through the waves of tourists and delve a little deeper beneath the anti-patina of the newly sandblasted facade.

I tried a curiosities tour of Ile de la Cité last year with my Paris If You Please Meet Up group last year, and I came up with a list of at least 50 things to talk about in two hours - it wasn't easy to fit them all in! And Notre-Dame accounted for a few.

For example, did you know that the two towers of the cathedral are actually... no, I'll let you suffer now if you're the suffering sort! There's always the comments section if you Need To Know about The Two Towers. And you'll have to prove you've read The Fellowship of the Ring first...

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Anyway. I will tell you about this one, very briefly, coz I've already written about it at length elsewhere, like herewhere.

On the right you have 'The Synagogue', a woman with her eyes covered by a serpent, dropping holy tablets, crown fallen and staff broken. Subtle? Not really.

On the left (of the main door to Notre-Dame, no less) is The Smarmily Smug Church, head aloft, all her accoutrements in tact, and what have you. 'The church kicked the synagogue's butt' is basically the message screaming out from the central portal from one of the world's most famous religious edifices. You've gotta love it.

What's more surprising is that this blatent snub / rub their noses in it is still in place today. A bit like some of the old colonial shop signs, this harks back to other, less tolerant times, and some would want to see it removed or modified, but there's no news yet.

I, for one, don't want anything modified in the slightest. I'm a reactionary in that sense; I don't want any of my precious Paris quirks to be lost in the name of anything. And the way history goes and comes around, it's probably just a coincidence we're living in times where this is the current status quo between the religions, or what's left of them.

Makes me think of the various revolutions and counter revolutions, where they would scratch out the 'St' from street names, only to restore it a few years later along with the latest version of the monarchy. Many of the friezes you find around the city bear similar modifications more or less subtle or obvious for us to enjoy.

And why not...
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Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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