One hundred self described French intellectuals (university teachers in fact) have collectively put their signatures to an article in Le Figaro, protesting at the radical renovation plans for the Notre-Dame rebuilding. What a bunch of cowardly fleas these types are.
This is age-old behaviour we’re all familiar with from such feeble school-teacher types. We witnessed it here last year following a handful of honest, Auckland university academics protest at being made to categorise maori mythology as science. This it will be recalled, produced a collectively signed letter from an organised large bunch of show-ponies, backed by the disgraceful New Zealand branch of the Royal Society which has abandoned any pretence of integrity, protesting at this insult to maoridom. Would they have acted this way if asked to treat Greek mythology as science? We know the answer.
Ok then, let’s accept it Maui fished up the North Island and was the first human to reach the Antarctic. He probably split the atom and invented the jet engine as well but kept quiet about it.
Apart from that farcical effort making New Zealand an international laughing stock as it did, these constant attention-seekers are cowards.
One can envisage the conversations now. The most common question to the collective signatory organisers would be who else is in? Only if satisfied as to the size of the bandwagon, their hearts aflutter with their daring, they then agree.
As I said, this is age-old behaviour, particularly by university types who throughout their bleak unadventurous lives have never left the collective security of the school-room. They have inflated egos of their importance, certainly not shared by the wider public.
In the Notre Dame case, the heritage experts on the job propose taking the rebuild opportunity to include modern art works, biblical quotes screened on the walls and some innovative sound and light effects.
This the heritage group described as “fostering a dialogue between the old and the new” and they have the backing of the Diocese of Paris, namely the cathedral’s owner.
Europe is awash with spectacular cathedrals. In creating a point of difference this proposition will either work or it won’t. If not then it’s easily removed. Good on them therefore for having a go.
We’ve been here before. When the amazing engineer Gustave Eiffel put forward his tower design to be a centrepiece for the 1889 Paris World Fair, once again a collective effort of self-described purported leading French intellectuals and artists put their signatures to a collective protest against it. They were only placated by an assurance that it would be demolished when the World Fair ended. So popular did it prove, they shut up and retreated to their uneventual cowardly small school-room lives.
Today the tower is the world’s most popular tourist destination. Imagine Paris without it. Lightweight teachers and artists are as entitled as anyone to express their opinions. My distain is when they haven’t the guts to do so unless collectively as a group.