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An Enduring Icon: Notre-Dame Cathedral


For over three-quarters of a millennium, Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood as both beacon and protector, serving as a major religious edifice, a masterpiece of medieval architecture, a repository for important relics and art, a symbol of Paris, an iconic French landmark and one of the most recognizable UNESCO World Heritage sites. On April 15, 2019, a massive fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral, destroying the medieval wooden trusses supporting the roof, toppling the famous spire and severely damaging the building. Remarkably, all the historic relics and works of art –including the celebrated rose windows – were saved by the rapid response of emergency workers and Cathedral staff, as well as experts charged with the preservation of the art and architecture.

In recognition of this historic event, the J. Paul Getty Museum will bring together a variety of works of art that showcase the rich cultural legacy of this beloved institution. The exhibition An Enduring Icon: Notre-Dame Cathedral presents paintings, photographs, engravings, and rare books that commemorate the enduring importance of the Cathedral, which has served as a symbol of Paris for more than eight centuries. Notre-Dame was restored after the French Revolution (thanks to the success of Victor Hugo’s famous novel about a hunchback), and it will rise again. You can read more about the history of Notre-Dame here.

Exhibition runs through October 20. The Getty Center is open 10 am–5:30 pm; and on Saturday 10 am–9 pm.

Admission is free. Parking is $20; $15 after 3 pm. For evening events and on Saturdays, parking is $10 after 6 pm.