Angers Cathedral -
SEBASTIEN SALOM GOMIS / SIPA
A contemporary gallery aiming to protect the western portal of Angers cathedral will be built.
Kengo Kuma will carry out this unprecedented project, the Ministry of Culture announced on Friday.
His name is now known.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has been chosen for the construction of a contemporary gallery to protect the western portal of Angers Cathedral, the Ministry of Culture announced on Friday.
Objective of this unprecedented operation?
The preservation of the precious polychromies, for the moment sheltered under a wooden formwork.
Saint-Maurice d'Angers indeed has a carved portal from the 12th century.
In 2009, cleaning work revealed vestiges of medieval and modern polychromy which have since been the subject of restoration carried out by the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DRAC).
This portal is one of the rare testimonies of the polychromy of cathedrals in the Middle Ages, said a press release.
Only the construction of a new permanent protection will make it possible to preserve them.
"After several historical and archaeological studies, the data collected was not considered sufficient to envisage an identical reconstruction of the old gallery", added the ministry.
This is why the National Heritage and Architecture Commission approved in 2019 a project to create a contemporary gallery protecting this portal.
Polychrome of the portal of Angers cathedral. # Heritage #heritage #moyenage #art #angers #cathedrale pic.twitter.com/bTTLf98YOr
- Marina (@Marina_Gaillard) October 27, 2019
A jury assembled last week, made up of the prefect of Maine-et-Loire, the mayor, the bishop of Angers, various officials, experts and architects, analyzed the projects of the five teams of architects and selected that of Kengo Kuma.
According to the Ministry of Culture, it “fits harmoniously into a major heritage building and more broadly into its urban context”.
An architect of international renown, Kengo Kuma has an office in Paris and is responsible in particular, in France, for the extension of the Albert-Kahn museum in Boulogne-Billancourt.
An announcement that comes as the debate on the marriage of the old and the contemporary, especially for cathedrals, ignites the spirits.
The possibility of a "contemporary gesture", advanced by Emmanuel Macron after the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris to rebuild its spire, had been abandoned in front of the outcry it had aroused.
An identical reconstruction is planned.
Notre-Dame de Paris: "Macron endorses substantive work", judges the vice-president of the Heritage Foundation
Nantes cathedral fire: damaged stones, destroyed organ ... How will the reconstruction take place?