Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Progress on the Restoration of the Church at La Celle Guenand


The church in La Celle-Guenand is starting to show the benefits of the recent restoration work, so we stopped the other day to take a photo.

This small Romanesque masterpiece has been in a pitiful state for several years. The humidity and weathering on the building, whose oldest parts date back to the 12th century, had caused significant damage and led to the condemnation of the main portal, which was supported by props.

The church at La Celle-Guenand undergoing restoration. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The building, classified as a historic monument in 1908, was nevertheless worth saving, due to its many heritage features, including a western Romanesque façade with blind arches and sculptures of very high quality but unfortunately very eroded. The vaulting displays a variety of architectural forms: half-barrels, round arches, rib vaults. An estimate of the work amounted to €1 700 000 for the total restoration. The municipality then applied for the Stéphane Bern Mission's heritage lottery and were granted €473 000, to which was added a subsidy from the DRAC (Department of Culture). These contributions made it possible to start the emergency work in 2019: the roof and the Romanesque portal.

The restoration was in danger of being interrupted by the Covid19 lockdown but after a short period of stoppage, the work was able to resume whilst observing the public health measures. The roofing work carried out by Frélon was completed and the masons and stonecutters of the Billon Centre company were able to continue the restoration of the north and east facades of the building. The sculptors of Ianek Kocher's team are channeling the medieval craftsmen and succeeding in recreating the precision and techniques of the orginal sculptors to bring back to life the old adornments.

The stained glass windows have been recreated and will soon be able to be installed. The mayor hopes that one day the other sections of the church could be completed and allow a total restoration of the interior of the building, which was once entirely decorated with wall paintings.


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2 comments:

chm said...

So many buildings in need of care!

Susan said...

Yep.

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