“Cultural treasures” are part of a nationalizing project too

on gargoyles 

"Gothic architecture was deeply implicated in racial theories in this period, not only on the level of nationalistic arguments of the style's French origins but also with regard to specific monuments. Viollet-le-Duc used the science of physiognomy to understand the development of naturalism in the features of Gothic jamb statues from Romanesque 'Orientalism' to something pure and French."

- Michael Camille, The Gargoyles of Notre Dame

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The Gargoyles of Notre Dame: Medievalism and the Monsters of Modernity by Michael Camille 

This book is fantastic. Studies of monuments and nationalizing projects are fascinating, and it is especially interesting to reapproach this book amongst the emotional social media responses to the fire in Notre Dame today

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Notre Dame 

My response to this, and to the collapse of the spire specifically, is to reach for Camille, Anderson, Benjamin, and Fredy Perlman (just in case). Not for "comfort" but to remind us that the "loss" we "feel" is rooted in sentiment, nostalgia, and the comfort we take in nationalizing projects and spaces

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