Spanish church door change alarms the United Nations

 In July, Spain will open tourist attractions to those holding a vaccination certificate, including the Burgos Cathedral, a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture, will open its doors to welcome guests. The church will celebrate its 800th birthday in July, and preparations for the celebration have already begun. Among them was the replacement of several broken wooden doors. Unexpectedly, this triggered a joint protest by tens of thousands of people in the local area, and even made a noise to UNESCO. Replacing a few doors on the west side wall that have been broken for more than 200 years may result in "Burgos Church being removed from the World Heritage List"? What is the origin of this door? It's a long story.

The Burgos Cathedral was built in the 13th century. In 1984, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The place where the incident of the door change occurred-the outer wall door of Santa Maria, is on the west side of the cathedral. The outer wall doors were originally three embossed wooden doors, with the Father in the middle, and the Virgin Mary and Childhood Jesus on both sides. The embossed wooden door was damaged in 1790, so the Santa Maria façade door was replaced with three neoclassical doors. Now, the outer wall door has to be replaced with three bronze doors.

As soon as the news came out, public grievances boiled over. As soon as Burgos local artists initiated an initiative to terminate the door-changing initiative, they received more than 30,000 signatures and support. If you want to replace an ancient building 800 years ago with a contemporary art style bronze door, regardless of the materials, materials, or artistic temperament, it is very contrary to thinking about it. Regarding whether the funds for changing doors were used properly, ten thousand people protested in a letter saying: "The cathedral does not even have central heating. Why should the archbishop use 1.2 million euros to change the doors?

There are plenty of reasons for public grievances, and they are supported by UNESCO and the International Council of Monuments and Sites. The cathedral strongly responded to the above-mentioned public grievances and pressure from international organizations. Regarding the sense of inconsistency brought about by the old buildings with new doors, the cathedral said that bronze doors also contain artistic value, not to mention that in the past few centuries, the cathedral structure has been continuously built, and different artistic style elements have been accepted and recognized.


The fact is indeed the case. At first, the Burgos Cathedral was a low-key Romanesque church. The expansion began in 1221, and it took almost 40 years to complete a cathedral with a French Gothic architecture. The twin towers of the church were built in the 15th century. In the 16th century, small chapels, minarets and other outbuildings were successively built.

This also leads to a question: Is it true that ancient art and contemporary art have to be clearly distinguished? In fact, it is not always true. Burgos Cathedral is not the only historical monument with modern elements. The cathedral gave two ready-made cases: the glass dome of the new German parliament building and the glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris, France. Haven't they all been accepted?

As for the cost of 1.2 million euros, the cathedral simply said that it did not use a penny of taxpayers, and all came from private commercial sponsorship. Moreover, changing the door can make the travel hot.

It is true that the original intention of all parties is to protect the ancient buildings as long as possible. As for the boundary of the restoration of the monuments, it is also the benevolent who sees the benevolent and the wise. Right now, the cathedral is responding strongly to opposition from all parties with self-consistent logic, ignoring UNESCO’s threat of delisting, announcing that the International Council of Monuments and Sites’ protest report is invalid. Then, while throwing a sentence, "This matter will ultimately be the official final word of Castile-Leon, where the cathedral is located", while letting the artist execute the plan step by step.


However, the Castile-Leon official has not said so far, and the Spanish branch of the International Council of Monuments and Sites can only wait for UNESCO’s technical evaluation and remain silent for the time being. The final fate of the door of the outer wall of Santa Maria may have to wait until Daqing in 800 to be revealed.



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