With Paris long known as the “City of Light, and an international center for beauty, culture and history, it’s not surprising that filmmakers have long been drawn to Notre Dame, the landmark Gothic cathedral built in the city’s heart.
Smoke ascends as flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019 (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
The 800-year-old cathedral, with its dramatic spire, flying buttresses, stone carvings and 13th century stained-glass windows, has provided a picturesque backdrop for Hollywood and European films for more than a century.
On Monday, a devastating blaze possibly related to renovation work engulfed much of the global icon, leading to concerns that centuries of artwork and history had gone up in flames.
As of 11 p.m. Paris time, Gen. Jean-Claude Gallet, the Paris fire chief, said the structure, including the two magnificent towers that soared above Seine, have been “saved and preserved as a whole,” the New York Times reported. But the 315-foot spire collapsed, and two-thirds of the roof have been destroyed. It also appears that heat from the fire blew out the stained-glass windows and destroyed other precious artworks, the Washington Post reported.
The catastrophic fire prompted people from around the world to take to social media to share images of favorite films that have featured the cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.
Hollywood’s love affair with Notre Dame probably began with its adaptations of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “Notre Dame de Paris” (better known in English as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”). The novel helped spur calls to restore Notre Dame in the middle of the 19th century, following its near destruction during the French Revolution. The cathedral also survived two world wars in the 20th century. By 2019, the cathedral had become Paris’s most popular monument with more than 12 million visitors a year, the Washington Post reported.
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Meanwhile, people who have been able to travel to Paris have at least seen the cathedral in classic movie romances, dramas and comedies.
Locations in the cathedral itself — the nave, the bell tower and the gargoyles at the top of the north and south towers — were rebuilt on studio lots near Los Angeles to form settings for the lavish 1923 and 1939 film adaptations of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Lon Chaney and Charles Laughton, respectively, as Quasimodo.
Charles Laughton, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939 pic.twitter.com/RwAQmh1MY9
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment