Surroundings of Notre-Dame: the fake news of Emmanuel Grégoire (3): the disappeared benches

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In our series on the fake news spread by Paris City Hall, we can go back to the title of the first article because this time Emmanuel Grégoire, the mayor’s first deputy, is clear and martial on a point that is false, once again, which is easy to prove. Let us note that our three articles already published come to add to our exegesis of his interview of the Journal du Dimanche or to clarify certain points.
Thus we wrote that the official documents of the town hall show that the historic street furniture, in particular the benches, will not be "reposed identically", without going further in our analysis. We can do so here, with the help of one of the most important tools to demonstrate the permanent lies of this municipality: Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Streets. Thanks to the latter, it is possible to walk around the Square de l’Archevêché in August 2009, and to count the benches that were there before the fire.

1. Old benches in the square Jean XXIII
Photo: Google Streets (August 2009)
See the image in its page
2. Carla Bruni and Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris
See the image in its page

Here’s the count we did, which is accurate to the unit, barring an unlikely error on our part [1]. There were a total of 109 benches in the Jean XXIII square, and 17 in the square de l’Île-de-France. Not all of them were Davioud benches, which seem to be the only ones that Emmanuel Grégoire seems to pay attention to, since Paris lovers have made them their symbol, proving that he has not understood what the heritage protectors want. This Davioud bench, like the one offered by #SaccageParis supporters (see the news item of 5/18/21), is obviously not the only model of Parisian bench that we wish to see preserved. Some of the more recent ones are just as much a part of the capital’s landscape and are both aesthetic and comfortable. The one found in the squares Jean XXIII and Île-de-France, although we do not know the exact date, was a simpler version of a model that Emmanuel Grégoire, in the first volume of his "Manifeste pour la beauté", called "the modern version of the Davioud bench" (ill. 1). It is on one of these benches that Carla Bruni and Owen Wilson sit in Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris [2].

3. Square Jean XXIII before the fire
(southern part and beginning of the eastern part, according to the City of Paris document
intended for the CNPA). We have added the benches which are absent from this drawing (probably deliberately, to hide their previous existence and disappearance)
See the image in its page
4. Same locations as in Figure 1 from the same document.
There are no more benches
See the image in its page

So there were a total of 126 benches in the two squares, including 10 "classic" Davioud benches. Only 23 remain in the project, all Davioud benches. We can therefore understand Emmanuel Grégoire’s reasoning, who now considers only the Davioud benches to be "historic". And even then, these benches are only placed under the lime trees in John XXIII Square to the east of the cathedral. To the south of the cathedral, and in the Île-de-France garden, there are no longer any benches: visitors will have to sit on the concrete or stone seats, and on the lawns!

5. Squares Jean XXIII and de l’Île-de-France as an extension of illustration 3,
according to the CNPA document which does not show the previous state, we have therefore added the benches which existed in the garden as planned in the project
See the image in its page
6. Same locations as in illustration 5 according to the CNPA document.
A total of 23 benches remain in the square de l’Archevêché alone
1. Old benches in John XXIII Square
See the image in its page

The historic furniture will therefore not be "replaced identically". More than four fifths of the benches will be missing. One can fear the worst about them. Let’s recall the video (see below) that we broadcast in 2020, where we saw workers breaking one of them with sledgehammers. Paris City Hall doesn’t like flowers, it doesn’t like shrubbery, it doesn’t like trees, it doesn’t like lawns unless you can picnic on them... And it only likes benches if they are made of stone or concrete.

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