After the fire at the Notre-Dame I kept seeing people claiming that it was a tragedy that can never be undone, that something was forever lost. I might understand if it was a painting or something, where it is known to be the original work of a master, but even paintings go under restoration. Before the fire the Notre-Dame was undergoing renovation and during its existence it was badly damaged and partially rebuilt multiple times, sometimes the original design was even modified. It was built by thousand craftsmen and workers, many of whose work has be replaced during the renovations, but nobody was protesting that. What we consider its main defining point, its architecture, is immaterial, it could be rebuilt anywhere in the world, what would the difference be? Why all the fuss?
An exact replica, filled with authentic art, etc, etc- built across the street from Notre Dame, would still not be Notre Dame.
A place that we ascribe importance to isn't just what is in the space, but also how the space is used, the time and history of the place, and the place itself.
The Temple of Time in Zelda. Idk why that comes to mind.
Anyway, you could build a Notre Dame in Louisiana and no one would give a half a damn. Meaning is hard to quantify, but it certainly exists enough so that we're not all nihilists who could look at a Renaissance panting and say "it's just oil on canvas, who cares", or an autographed copy of Earthbound and say "yeah it's just plastic and circuits, doesn't matter" .
It has to do with authenticity. Repairs and rennovations are a accepted as part of the history of any given object, monument or building. Ground-up-rebuilding or copying isn't. I recommend you to read up on the Ship of Theseus.
History is a big part of what gives things value. This isn't the Notre-Dame burning, what the notre-dame stands for is being destroyed. Its history, the generations of work put into it.
And, to top it off, the Notre-Dame is a church. A place of religious significance. Religious symbolism and meaning helps amplify the reaction.
Well… There are things that can't be restored. Much of the stuff in Rio de Janeiro's Nacional Museum for example.
Also things burn, fall, explode, turn into dust and become lost forever. Our society is too bounded to a scientific mentality. We need to find some truth, rebuild history, make a backup of our past so that we can use it for analysis, verification etc.
But, I think that Notre Dame's case is far better than Nacional Museum's. There are near perfect 3D models of the church and France cares a lot about it's historical stuff (including the one's they stole/bought from thieves :P).
Inside Rio de Janeiro's Nacional Museum there were the only records of several brazillian indigenous languages that are now completely lost. This is pretty damaging, it means that lunatic groups can fabricate history with more ease (holocaust-denial style), and we don't have the documents anymore to prove them wrong.
Why is the burning Notre-Dame less of a Notre-Dame than what it was moments before the accident? Buildings change with use, they are modified, but somebody decided at one point in history that this one must always be the way it is now.
I feel bad for the people who are materially affected by this. Tour guides, residents in the area, people with strong memories of the building even. Anyone else mourning the loss of a building like their culture and personal identity have suffered is a twit. Also fuck gothic architecture.
Mourning over it is excessive, but being upset and wanting this is kind of event to not be repeated is perfectly reasonable.>Also fuck gothic architecture.
No, fuck you. People who can't appreciate beauty are missing out.
they can't appreciante beauty because they dont like goth architecture?
What makes Gothic architecture beautiful?
In addition to all that, this architecture also carries the wonder of achievement in structural engineering from a time when the field was barely emergent and the mathematics behind it was unknown.