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LRB, 2010
But the real gargoyles were about to prove that they hadn't finished yet. In 1996, Notre-Dame was undergoing yet another restoration. While shops around the Ile de la Cité were selling Disney merchandise, gargoyle mouse-mats, howling, motion-sensing Stryges and the like, something weird was happening under the plastic sheeting and the scaffolding. When the sheeting was removed, the gargoyles and chimeras were seen, once again, in what was supposed to be their original eeriness. Yet something had changed: some of the monsters wore a smirk; others had an unmistakeably fatuous, goofy look about them. An unseen, irresistible power had been guiding the restorers' hands. The monsters had morphed into something far more frightening than the Day of Judgment. The great symbol of Gallic continuity and tradition had been colonised by the minions of globalised American mass culture. The demonic menagerie was still manufacturing horribly plausible nightmares: Notre-Dame had been Disneyfied, and only the cleansing acid of rain and pollution will restore it to inscrutability. Meanwhile, the new, cleaned-up Stryge is licking his lips in anticipation of the McDonald's that is about to open in the Carrousel du Louvre.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 21st, 2019 at 03:44:07 PM EST

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