The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, announced on July 7 that she had entrusted Charles Personnaz, the current director of the National Heritage Institute, with a prefiguration mission for the creation of a museum dedicated to Notre-Dame de Paris.
This decision follows the declaration of the President of the Republic during his visit to the cathedral construction site on April 14: ” Because [la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris] is a part of our national destiny, of our history, because it still has so much to show, I am in favor of thinking about the creation of a museum dedicated to it. »
Charles Personnaz will have to carry out consultations with experts and stakeholders, including the public establishment responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese, the center of National Monuments, the City of Paris and the Public assistance from the Hospitals of Paris. He must present a “first return” in December 2023, before submitting a final report in April 2024.
The Hôtel-Dieu, located on the forecourt of the cathedral, is envisaged as the location for the future museum. However, the reconversion of this former hospital establishment is blocked due to the refusal of elected Greens and Communists of the City of Paris to sell 20,000 m² of its surface area to a private developer.
The question of which works will be displayed in the museum also remains open, with most works of art due to return to the cathedral. Nevertheless, it is possible to imagine that the museum will house the discoveries made during the work, such as the sarcophagi unearthed under the crossing of the transept or the fragments of the old rood screen, as well as elements of sculpture too fragile to be reinstalled. in their original location and copies of which are currently being made, including four chimeras in the south tower. An exhibition of the cathedral renovation site could also be hosted.
Since the 1960s and 1970s, there has been a desire in France to showcase the treasures of churches and cathedrals and exhibit them to the public. Some of these collections are still exhibited in situ, such as in Amiens, Chartres, Le Puy and Conques, while others are presented in dedicated museums, such as the Palais du Tau in Reims, the Musée de Sens which hosts in its collections the Treasury of Saint-Etienne Cathedral (Yonne) or the Treasury Museum of Saint-Jean Cathedral in Lyon (12).