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Culture

Notre Dame in Paris, a work of art which has inspired writers and artists

Paris / Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, devastated since Monday afternoon by the flames, is not only one of the great jewels of Gothic architecture, but has inspired writers and artists during its eight and a half centuries of history.

The creator who probably contributed most to consecrating it as one of the symbols of the French capital is Victor Hugo with his book “Notre Dame de Paris” published in 1831, which dignified the building beyond its religious dimension, which had put it in danger during the most convulsive phase of the French Revolution.

In those times of anticlericalism, pillage particularly affected the gallery of the kings.

Victor Hugo, Jacques Louis David, Eugène Viollet

Victor Hugo, in particular with his character of the hunchback, has immortalized the profile of a cathedral which has been the scene of multiple cinematographic adaptations in that literary work, including by the “dream factory” of Disney.

One of the best known of these adaptations for the big screen was that of Jean Delannoy in 1956, which featured two exceptional actors: Gina Lollobrigida in the role of Esmeralda and Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo.

The magnificence of the interior of the building has also remained in the collective memory thanks to the brushes of Jacques Louis David, who painted in large dimensions (629 x 979 centimeters) “The consecration of Napoleon”.

David thus served the ambition of Napoleon who had managed to take control of the reins of the French Revolution and staged his power by crowning there on December 2, 1804.

Half a century later, the architect Eugène Viollet le Duc was entrusted in 1859 with the reconstruction of the spire of Notre Dame, which had been destroyed several times throughout history, and which was also burned to the ground on Monday.

The Treasure of Notre Dame is safe

Since the beginning of its history, the cathedral has kept works of art, such as a series of paintings called the “Mays” commissioned between 1630 and 1707 by the goldsmiths’ corporation of Paris to offer them in the spring in honor of the Virgin Mary.

Among the pieces which couldn’t be extracted by the firemen are the three organs, fundamental elements of the liturgy. The biggest of all, with five keyboards and about 8,000 tubes, is considered one of the most famous in the world.

Yes it has been possible to save what is known as the Treasure of Notre Dame, among which is the linen tunic of King San Louis from the thirteenth century.

On the western facade, the Portico of Judgment is the most lavish of all. It was installed between 1220 and 1230 and it represents the last judgment according to the Gospel of San Mateo.

The three rosettes (two of them with a diameter of 12.90 meters) are also some of the most paradigmatic elements of the building, together with the rest of the stained glass windows. (April 15, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions)

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Question 1
Principalmente, el texto habla de... (Mainly, the text talks about...)  
A
la catedral de Notre Dame como una fuente de inspiración para los artistas.
B
la causa del incendio en la catedral de Notre Dame.
C
cuáles son las zonas de la catedral de Notre Dame más afectadas por el incendio.
Question 2
Según el texto, Victor Hugo escribió una obra... (According to the text, Victor Hugo wrote a work...)  
A
la cual podría ser adaptada al cine por Disney.
B
en la que solo se expuso la dimensión religiosa de la catedral Notre Dame.
C
en la que Notre Dame es enaltecida más allá desde un punto de vista religioso.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)  
A
se desconoce si el Tesoro de Notre Dame ha sido destruido por el incendio.
B
algunas piezas de gran valor histórico han podido ser salvadas del incendio.
C
los bomberos han podido extraer todas las piezas de gran valor que había en Notre Dame.
Question 4
Según el texto... (According to the text...)  
A
no es la primera vez que se produce un incendio en Notre Dame.
B
la catedral de Notre Dame nunca ha tenido que ser reconstruida.
C
a mediados del siglo dieciocho hubo un incendio en esta catedral.
Question 5
La túnica del rey San Luis... (The tunic of King Saint Louis ...)    
A
data del siglo catorce.
B
data del siglo doce.
C
data del siglo trece.
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