Completed Project
World Monuments Watch
Paris, France

When the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette first opened in the first half of the nineteenth-century, Parisians were shocked by the extravagance of the church’s interior surfaces. The building’s sober neoclassical exterior, dominated by a monumental entrance portico, gives way to an interior space covered in rich painted decoration.

Suffering from insufficient maintenance and conservation resources, a plight affecting many of Paris’ lesser-known churches, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette was included on the 2014 World Monuments Watch, along with the Church of Saint Merri.

Wall Paintings Restoration at the Chapel of the Baptism

In the spring of 2015, WMF collaborated with the City of Paris and the “association pour la sauvegarde de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette” to carry out diagnostic and structural surveys as a response to the church's inclusion on the 2014 Watch. The resulting reports revealed that the Baptistery Chapel in the church was in most urgent need of restoration. The Chapel’s architectural spaces are decorated with paintings produced by Adolphe Roger between 1833 and 1840. The paintings suffer from deterioration due to multiple causes. To keep the pictorial matter from falling, the paintings are partly covered by Japanese paper and are therefore less clearly visible.

With support from American Express, WMF developed a restoration project to address the wall paintings in the Chapel of Baptisms. Beginning in late 2015 and through 2016, a team of expert conservators implemented a series of new cleaning methods that removed the old and obscuring varnish applied in previous restorations, while preserving the original layer of painting. The magnificently restored paintings were unveiled at an inauguration event in January 2017.

Watch Day

Watch Day celebrations at the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette were held on September 19 and 20, 2015, to coincide with the country’s Heritage Days, organized by the French ministry of culture. The event included guided visits and an organ concert. The following week, neighborhood children enjoyed a specialized tour of the church.

Last updated: February 2019.

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