In Cologne, at the end of the Second World War, only the immense silhouette of the cathedral emerged from the ruins of the city. Gutted by Allied bombing, the building, built over a period of six centuries, remained standing. And its restoration has continued until recent years, mobilizing hundreds of craftsmen in search of ancient gestures and techniques. As in the whole world, the Germans were seized with terror at the sight of Notre-Dame de Paris on fire last year. But the nightmare surely resounded in a singular way in the hearts of the inhabitants of Cologne, so attached to their “Domkirche” and necessarily sensitive to the fate of the mother of all cathedrals.
On the first anniversary of the Notre-Dame de Paris fire on April 15, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, Minister of Culture Monika Grütters and President of the German Commission for UNESCO Maria Böhmer announced how Germany intended to participate in the restoration of Notre-Dame and in particular its stained glass windows.
In the aftermath of the fire, a donation campaign called “North Rhine-Westphalia for Our Lady” collected more than 450,000 euros in donations. These sums will be used to restore part of the bays on the upper floors of the building. In the Land press release, the French Minister of Culture Franck Riester warmly thanks the donors and explains that “the proposal of our German partners to contribute to the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris is a powerful symbol of solidarity, which reminds us how closely the destinies of our two nations are“
“It is a question that is close to the heart of Germany to continue to support France in this enormous taskMonika Grütters testified. France can count on our support and our technical expertise.She explains in particular that the glassworks workshops of the Guilds of Cathedral Builders, the equivalents of our Companions of Duty, will be mobilized. The Minister of Culture has also asked the former prime contractor for Cologne Cathedral, Barbara Schock-Werner, to coordinate the offers of German aid. It will exercise its functions within the framework of the structures created by France for the restoration of Notre-Dame in consultation with the chief architect of historic monuments and experts from the French Ministry of Culture.
The studies still underway will determine the nature and extent of cooperation in the coming months. For the restoration of stained glass, there are three glass restoration workshops in Germany affiliated with cathedral construction companies which have great expertise in this field. German quality at the service of French heritage.