Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral is an iconic symbol of the city of Paris and of France as a whole. Originally built around 1260, the site has survived to our modern times – a masterpiece of art from different periods, French Gothic architecture and religious relevance – but recently suffered severe damage from a fire in 2019, partially destroying the cathedral as a result. Fortunately, restoration work is underway to restore the site to its former glory, and it should be completed in 2024.
2024 is still far ahead of us, but you can go ahead and discover Notre-Dame de Paris early – and you don’t even have to travel to France. The Alliance Française of Singapore, a local educational and cultural organization teaching French language and culture, is launching a new exhibition on the fantastic monument entitled: (RE)BIRTH.
(RE)BIRTHS highlights the construction and its successive restorations of the cathedral through a unique experience. While the original site is steeped in history, the exhibit uses modern technology to provide visitors with a unique perspective.
The centerpiece is a virtual reality (VR) experience that allows you to walk around and visit Notre-Dame de Paris to see the site from different points of view, including some places normally inaccessible, such as the roof or the flying buttresses which are now explorable.
The experiment was done in collaboration with video game company Ubisoft who originally recreated the monument for use in their 2014 game Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
A 1:100 scale model of a cathedral is also on display. Made in partnership with Matt Chiu of Imagene Creative Pte Ltd, the model was created using 3D printing technology, meticulously detailed and constructed from 55 individual parts. From now on, visitors will be able to see and admire the beautiful French Gothic facade from all angles.
The (RE)BIRTHS exhibit is also accompanied by an assortment of photos, videos and artifacts that help to further envelop visitors as they experience what Notre-Dame de Paris has to offer.
You can visit the (RE)BIRTHS exhibition now, and it lasts until June 15. But there’s more in store! As part of the current French Excellence program, a series of conferences, film screenings and workshops are also offered alongside the exhibition that you can discover.
Highlights include the musical Quasimodo, a musical story – featuring songs from the hit musical Notre-Dame de Paris. Performed by theater veterans like Hossan Leong, George Chan and Vanessa Kee, as well as debuts from TJ Taylor, Joash Zheng, Preston Lim and Gabrielle Rae Sammy. There is also a workshop that allows you to indulge in the best of French delights, allowing you to try wines, cheeses, cognac and champagne with a group. The full list of programs can be found here.
But if you just fancy (RE)BIRTHS, you can go to La galerie de l’Alliance Française de Singapore (1 Sarkies Rd, Singapore 258130) and enjoy the free exhibition. More details on (RE)BIRTH can be found on the official exhibition page.
Images courtesy of Alliance Française Singapore and Arron Teo Photography.