Notre Dame Cathedral Gets a New Golden Rooster Sculpture

Four years on, Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral is finally close to being renovated after a fire scourged the roof of the 860-year-old monument in 2019. Onlookers got a teaser to what the restored spire will look like as organizers raised a new golden rooster atop the historic site.

A national symbol of France, the Gallic rooster has historically signified hope and faith since the Middle Ages, having adorned a number of national emblems and monuments — from the crest of French National Football Team to the tip of Notre Dame de Paris’s spire.

The fact that the original rooster survived the disaster signaled that “there was hope, that not everything was lost,” according to Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect in the restoration process. “The beauty of the [old] battered rooster… expressed the cry of the cathedral suffering in flames,” Villeneuve continued, adding that the new artwork represents a “phoenix”, raising from the ashes to signal the “fire of resurrection.”

Prior to being lifted, the artwork was blessed by Archbishop Laurent Ulrich who placed sacred remnants in a hole of the rooster, such as pieces of Christ’s Crown of Thorns, as well as a sealed tube listing the 2,000 names who have contributed to the restoration of the building. Notre Dame is scheduled to reopen in December 2024.
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