RESTORING THE BEAUTY OF THE SAINTE-CHAPELLE

20 January 2021 Mécénat

Together, let us restore the porches to their former glory

The Sainte-Chapelle is more than a monument, a marvellous work of art, fragile in its beauty, which requires extensive conservation and restoration.

After the vast restoration campaign to restore all their brilliance to the stained glass windows of the north facade, the choir and the rose window, urgent new work is needed and requires your contribution.

From 2021, for an estimated duration of 7 years and a provisional cost of 18 million euros, the Sainte-Chapelle will be the subject of extensive work aimed to successively restore:

 - the porches of the western façade  - first phase

 - the masonry of the gables of the western facade including the North and South towers, to their full height - second phase

 - the stained glass windows on the southern side - third phase 

The restoration work will be accompanied by the installation of an exterior lighting system to highlight the windows.

 

Photographic credit : Didier Plowy/CMN

THE FIRST PHASE IS NOW UNDERWAY 

Work on the restoration of the western portals started in February 2022. The scaffolding is now in place (it does not impact the interior of the monument) and the restoration teams are preparing the initial interventions.

With the passage of time, as well as the effects of climatic conditions and atmospheric pollution, the two portals are beginning to show signs of fragility, and it is now urgent to intervene in order to consolidate the structures and restore the statuary.

Different restoration techniques were tested during 2021 in order to define the best way to intervene without altering the architectural elements and preserving the remaining traces of medieval polychromies.

The additional analyses that will realised during the restoration work will provide a better understanding of the history of the portals and their successive states.

 

Here you can see a detail of the cleaning techniques tested in 2021.

 

In this image you can see the traces of the polychromie that decorated the portal in the Middle-ages.

To date, January 2023, the cleaning operations of the stone, molded and sculpted facings have been finalized, allowing the start of the dismantling of the stones in poor condition, which will be replaced. Studies have been carried out to know more precisely the nature of the existing stones and sculpted elements. They allowed the choice of new stones, which were then selected in quarries: the stone blocks for the replacement of the pinnacles and gargoyles are currently being cut. At the same time, studies are underway for the installation of an effective and inconspicuous anti-bird system, to protect the sculpted figures under the porches (pigeon droppings are extremely damaging to the masonry!).

 

ADD YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE BUILDING 

Patronage plays an essential role in safeguarding the architectural heritage managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux. The Sainte-Chapelle is a real showcase for excellent craftsmanship. By making a donation, you participate in the prestigious reputation of one of the most beautiful jewels of French culture.

Together, let us restore the porches to their former glory 

The restoration will focus on the richly sculpted porches at the entrances to the building, including that of the upper chapel, dedicated to the Last Judgment and through which the king had direct access to the chapel from his apartments located within the royal palace. 

The project will restore all the dignity and majesty to this architectural masterpiece.

YOUR SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL 

By participating in the beautification of the Sainte-Chapelle, you will become a real player in the safeguarding of a treasure inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list; and you will have the chance to be among the first guests to come and admire the completed work.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION

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