New exhibition on Notre Dame de Paris opens
Wednesday, 7th February 2024
The world touring immersive exhibition Notre Dame de Paris, The Augmented Exhibition opens today at the Abbey until 1st June 2024.
Revealing the story of the French gothic masterpiece, Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) from its earliest origins in the 12th century and its illustrious 850-year history to its painstaking restoration following the devastating fire of 2019, it has been created by digital heritage specialists, Histovery, in collaboration with Rebuilding Notre-Dame de Paris and supported by L’Oréal Groupe.
Already seen by 300,000 exhibition-goers worldwide including in Paris, Washington, Montreal and Dubai, the UK location is the 13th century Chapter House at Westminster Abbey, another famous and iconic church which is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
The exhibition takes visitors on an interactive journey through Notre Dame’s past including the lavish wedding of King Henri IV, the glittering coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the 19th century construction of Notre-Dame’s iconic spire of Viollet-le-Duc, which was tragically destroyed by the fire. The skill, artistry and vision over the ages of its architects, craftsmen and builders, and the 21st century experts who are bringing it back to its former glory will be brought to life in the show.
Visitors to the exhibition are issued a HistoPad™—a portable, touch-screen tablet developed by Histovery that will serve as their portal to key moments in Notre-Dame’s history and restoration. The intuitive device’s technology is accessible to visitors of all ages and levels of technological savvy. The tour is available in 13 languages and there are special features for families: a virtual treasure hunt to collect stained glass window fragments to win a diploma, and a fun selfie studio which superimposes faces onto the cathedral’s fantastical beasts.
The HistoPad™ tour through Notre-Dame’s history is designed to envelop the visitor in a multi-sensory experience—including audio of the cathedral’s organ and tolling bells, a full-size replica of one of the structure’s famed chimera statues, and a projection of one of Notre-Dame’s iconic rose windows, which survived the fire.
Watch: Notre Dame de Paris exhibition trailer
The exhibition is supported by L’Oréal Groupe, who, as a century-old French company, participated in the saving and reconstruction of the cathedral, and since 2021 have supported this innovative experience to travel the world, allowing as many people as possible to access and discover the beauty of Notre Dame and its heritage.
Notre Dame de Paris is due to reopen again after restoration work on 8th December 2024.
"A true symbol of French craftmanship, heritage and culture."
The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, The Dean of Westminster said:
“Like many around the world we were deeply shocked by the fire at Notre Dame de Paris. Since then, we have watched with admiration as the cathedral is painstakingly restored to its former glory, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to its re-opening later this year. Today we celebrate the opening of this immersive exhibition about Notre Dame de Paris which merges the medieval with the modern in a magnificent way.”
Bruno de Sa Moreira, Co-founder & CEO, Histovery said:
“This augmented exhibition is a celebration of the extraordinary history and splendour of our beloved Notre-Dame de Paris. Through Histovery's unique innovative format, individuals of all ages can immerse themselves in the Cathedral's 850-year history, reliving pivotal historical moments, and interacting with the ongoing reconstruction efforts. We are very grateful to the L'Oréal Groupe for making this exhibition a reality, and are honoured to be presenting it at Westminster Abbey. We are particularly thrilled that Westminster Abbey will host this exhibition in 2024, a year which coincides with the much-anticipated reopening of Notre Dame after a five-year reconstruction period.”
Thierry Cheval, Managing Director & Chairman, L’Oréal UK & Ireland said:
“L'Oréal Groupe is incredibly proud to support this special exhibition and bring it to life at the historic Westminster Abbey. As a century-old French company, we are proud to participate in the saving and reconstruction of Notre Dame, a true symbol of French craftmanship, heritage and culture. Through the power of technology and innovation, this exhibition has been travelling the world with the purpose of allowing as many people as possible to access and discover this repository of knowledge and common history through a unique immersive experience.”
- Find out more about the exhibition and how you can book your tickets.
Notre Dame de Paris, The Augmented Exhibition is part of Fraternité, a spring season of events at Westminster Abbey celebrating the links between the UK and France with music, talks and events.