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Should We Rebuild the Past or Live in the Future

Questioning whether we should restore the history that was nearly destroyed.

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Should We Rebuild the Past or Live in the Future

Studying the destruction of historical architecture in art class makes one consider -- is the rebuild the right thing to do?

Studying the destruction of historical architecture in art class makes one consider -- is the rebuild the right thing to do?

Photo by Erin Conner

Studying the destruction of historical architecture in art class makes one consider -- is the rebuild the right thing to do?

Photo by Erin Conner

Photo by Erin Conner

Studying the destruction of historical architecture in art class makes one consider -- is the rebuild the right thing to do?

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On April 15th, 2019 the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France drastically caught fire and burned for hours on end. The beloved spire fell along with the hearts of the Parisians as they watched a millennial landmark become destroyed. After just two days over 900 million euros had been donated for the reconstruction of the monument; but, the debate soon rose. Should this money have been put to a ‘better’ use? After calculations, many are upset by the fact that even a fraction of this money could have fixed important and relevant social problems. So, shall we rebuild the past or live in the present?

As most Parisians and people of France would agree, we must rebuild. The Notre Dame Cathedral is over 1000 years old and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and serves not only as a witness to art and history but to spiritual memory as well, thus it would be a gross disservice in not pursuing with reconstruction.

As for some other opinions, using these millions of dollars to rebuild a monument that will never be the same will rather serve as an injustice to billions of people.

As we all know global warming is a factor that is destroying our earth as we speak. The temperature of our earth is rising— and not just for summer, for eternity. Our polar ice caps are melting, and our ecosystems that rely upon those arctic numbers are dying and dwindling by the number. By 2030 we are expected to drastically set off a chain reaction that will ultimately result in our extinction. What good is a monument if we’re not around to enjoy it? The money and devotion for the Notre Dame restoration project could have a greatly positive effect on our attempts to reverse global warming. This is one of the many arguments made by those who support that we live in the present.

If that wasn’t convincing enough for you, take into account the homelessness rates right now.  Currently, Paris, the home of the Notre Dame Cathedral is experiencing an exponential growth in their census of the homeless. To be exact, there has been a 21% increase in homelessness in Paris in just one year. Although there are organizations and charities doing their best to eliminate this problem, they can only do so much when there is a severe lack of capital funding for them. Thus, some may argue that if the 900 million euros donated by French billionaires went towards this social problem of their own people, the Parisian streets may be sorrow free. Again, this is yet another argument made by those who support the side of living in the present.

At the end of the day, the millions of euros raised will go towards the reconstruction of the Notre Dame. This cathedral is one of the largest religious buildings in the world and lives in the very heart of Paris, serving as a reminder for the people of their very own faith. This debate had quickly taken over headlines following the fires at the Notre Dame Cathedral and seems to have split many, especially the people of France.

So, what do you think? Should we rebuild the past or live in the present?

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Should We Rebuild the Past or Live in the Future