Surroundings of Notre-Dame: facts versus propaganda

All the versions of this article: English , français

Please consider signing the petition, if you have not already done so.

Jardin de l’Archevêché, with the bust of Goldoni by the Italian sculptor Edouard Fortini which is not put back in place in the project
Photo: Emmanuel Delarue (March 2010)
See the image in its page

The defense of the gardens of Notre-Dame is also a battle of communication. Thus, the article by Claire Bommelaer in Le Figaro, very factual and well informed, was titled - in the print edition: "Abords de Notre-Dame : le projet en partie retoqué [1]". And in the web edition: "Abords de Notre-Dame de Paris : le projet de réhabilitation accepté avec des réserves [2]". If both are true, the first is much more accurate. Of course, the project has been accepted, but the reservations are so great and concern such essential points, that it is indeed the title of the paper that sets the tone. The rejection of the reunion of the two gardens and the removal of the gates, which is the heart of the project in its garden part, is a testament to this.

This story is not only about the glass being half empty or half full: not only do the social networks that spread the headline on the website give a false impression of the reality of the CNPA’s opinion (many just read the headline), but it allows Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy in charge of urban planning, to strut around making people believe that within his cabinet: "we are pleased [...] with the approval given by the experts on the contours of the site."
This is indeed what one can read in an article published today in Le Parisien titled this time "the redevelopment project of the surroundings accepted, the opponents do not disarm". If the second part is accurate, the first part is not really...
We read again, about Emmanuel Grégoire: ""It is a confirmation of the work undertaken for years", they simply indicate in the entourage of the elected representative.å The city council, by making it seem as if its project has been accepted, gives an idea of its willingness to respect the CNPA’s demands.

The article also states that: "the question of enlarging the lawn of the cathedral gardens, which is included in the project of Bas Smets, was raised in commission but did not meet with opposition". This is not the opinion of the members of the commission with whom we were able to speak, who confirmed that this point had not been discussed. Senator Albéric de Montgolfier, chairman of the commission, also told us that this question of the garden itself does not really, according to the law, fall within its scope, which is correct. Its role is to pronounce on the built heritage, especially since there is a "garden commission" and the square itself is not protected as a historic monument [3]. It is therefore not only a question of "color of flowers" as he says in Le Parisien. If this section of the CNPA cannot pronounce itself on this subject, it could nevertheless, as it did for the Hôtel-Dieu, when the project comes back before it, issue a vow on this subject. Albéric de Montgolfier insisted on the fact that this is only a "preliminary draft" for the moment and that it will have to come back to the commission when it will have been clarified taking into account the first opinion. The role of the CNPA is not finished, contrary to what the article in the Parisien suggests.

A project therefore largely "rejected" on the issue of gardens; a commission that has not given any agreement on the issue of lawns, flowers, hedges and bushes, because it has not talked about it and it does not fall within its direct competence; the possibility nevertheless that it will issue a vow in the future on this subject ... It is very far from a "confirmation of the work undertaken for years" by the mayor. But it is true that Emmanuel Grégoire still has difficulties in his relationship with the facts, daring once again to repeat his antiphon about the "fake news" that he is the first to propagate. Here is indeed what his office replied to the Parisien: "when false information circulates, and the reaction is always You lie to each factual answer we bring, we arrive at a level of sterility of the debate, it is not constructive." What "factual" information is he talking about? We have long proposed to him a debate on facts. We provide facts in each of our articles, with proof. Emmanuel Grégoire prefers propaganda.

Your comments

In order to be able to discuss articles and read the contributions of other subscribers, you must subscribe to The Art Tribune. The advantages and conditions of this subscription, which will also allow you to support The Art Tribune, are described on the subscription page.

If you are already a subscriber, sign in.