Rebuilding Notre-Dame: Five Years of Restoration and Discovery

Thursday, April 11, 2024 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This event is part of UCF Celebrates the Arts 2024. 

On April 15, 2019, fire nearly destroyed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. In the immediate aftermath, French President Emanuel Macron confidently announced that it would be rebuilt in five years. Soon an ambitious reconstruction campaign involving architects, engineers and artisans was mobilized. At the same time, the French Ministry of Culture supported the request of researchers to study the monument as it was undergoing restoration. Nearly five years later, the reconstruction is nearing completion and researchers continue to make new discoveries about this famous work of Gothic architecture. This lecture by art historian Jennifer M. Feltman will provide insight into the rebuilding process and the major discoveries that have been made over the past five years.

Jennifer M. Feltman is associate professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at the University of Alabama. Her research focuses on French Gothic architecture and sculpture. She is a member of the Chantier scientifique de Notre-Dame, a team of scientists and historians authorized by the French Ministry of Culture to study the fire-ravaged cathedral as it is being restored. As part of her contribution to new research on Notre-Dame, she is directing, “Notre-Dame in Color,” a project to investigate, document, and virtually recreate the vibrantly painted sculptures of the Gothic Cathedral of Paris. This work is supported by the FACE Foundation – Transatlantic Research Partnership, a program of the French Embassy in the United States, a 3-year National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant, and the UA Collaborative Arts Initiative. She publishes widely on Gothic architecture and sculpture. Her books include the volume of essays, The North Transept of Reims Cathedral: Design, Construction, and Visual Programs (Routledge, 2016), The Long Lives of Medieval Art and Architecture (Routledge, 2019), co-edited with Sarah Thompson, and Moral Theology and the Cathedral: Sculptural Programs of the Last Judgment in France, c.1200-1240, which is forthcoming from Brepols.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this lecture do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

One of Central Florida’s favorite new traditions celebrates ten years! UCF Celebrates the Arts is an immersive and dynamic cultural extravaganza that fuses creativity, innovation and community engagement. This annual festival showcases the artistic prowess of UCF’s faculty and students and invites the broader community to enjoy performances, exhibitions, presentations and interactive experiences. With a focus on accessibility, partnership and diverse offerings, UCF Celebrates the Arts is a unique opportunity for the community to experience the creative side of UCF’s innovative spirit. Events will be held April 3-14 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more at

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