Chartres, a new addition to the La Grâce d’une Cathedral series, is to be published in April, marking the end of a major phase in the cathedral’s restoration. Edited by the Bishop of Chartres, Michael Pansard, the book presents a history of the cathedral, and contains chapters by fifty authors, including historians, art historians, theologians and architects.
In an effort to return the cathedral to its medieval glory, the windows and the stonework have been cleaned and brightened by restorers: dirt and grime have been removed from the glass, and the walls have been clean and coloured. Vidimus readers will be interested in the effects of the restoration project on the windows of the cathedral, which no longer appear to be pools of colour in a gloom, but are highlights in a light interior. Like the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, this project has not been without controversy. Compare views expressed in The Spectator (‘Restoration Tragedy’) with those expressed in The Independent (‘Bright future for a Gothic wonder’).