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Heritage Speaks No.2 – Five Years After the Fire: Notre-Dame de Paris and the Largest Restoration Project of the Century


Notre-Dame of Paris

Villa Albertine Headquarters
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, US 10075

April 18, 2024 | 6:00pm


Join Villa Albertine and World Monuments Fund on April 18 for a discussion on the largest restoration project of the twenty-first century, Notre-Dame of Paris. 

As part of World Monuments Fund’s annual Paul Mellon Lecture, the second event of the Heritage Speaks series will focus on the five-year reconstruction of Notre-Dame of Paris, following the April 2019 tragedy.

Along with a tribute to Notre-Dame, the panel discussion will bring together art historians, firefighters, and craftspeople to reflect on methodologies developed during the process and the advancement of fire protection for similar cultural heritage sites.  

Inaugurated in 2003, the Paul Mellon Lecture is supported by the Paul Mellon Education Fund and enables audiences to learn about the critical issues in the field of cultural heritage.

A model of the framework of Notre-Dame de Paris, created by apprentices from Perrault Academy, will be exceptionally exhibited during the event, thanks to the support of Maison Ateliers Perrault.

Register here to attend. The event will be live streamed starting at 6:00pm ET on Villa Albertine’s Youtube channel.


Rima Abdul Malak, Former Minister of Culture of France and Culture Advisor to President Macron

Rima Abdul Malak served as Minister of Culture of France from May 2022 to January 2024, where she advanced the Ministry’s mission of safeguarding, protecting, and enhancing cultural heritage in all its components and encouraging the creation of works of art and spirit. Prior to joining the Ministry of Culture, she served as Culture Advisor to the President of the Republic for two and a half years, deploying measures to help the cultural sector in the face of the pandemic and facilitate the implementation of the cultural policy promoted by President Macron. Malak has also previously served as Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy in New York, Cultural Advisor to the Mayor of Paris, and Head of the Current Music Division at Culturesfrance (now known as the French Institute).

Barry Bergdoll, Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University; Chairman of the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

Barry Bergdoll is the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University. Professor Bergdoll’s broad interests center on modern architectural history. Trained in art history rather than architecture, he has an approach most closely allied with cultural history and the history and sociology of professions.

He has studied questions of the politics of cultural representation in architecture, the larger ideological content of nineteenth-century architectural theory, and the changing role of both architecture as a profession and architecture as a cultural product in nineteenth-century European society. In exhibitions at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and at the Museum of Modern Art, where he served as Philip Johnson Chief Curator from 2007 to 2013, Bergdoll has offered a series of exhibitions intended to offer more inclusive visions of subjects from Mies van der Rohe (and his relationship to garden reform and landscape), the Bauhaus, Henri Labrouste, Le Corbusier, Latin American post-war architecture, and most recently Frank Lloyd Wright.

Lindsay S. Cook, Architectural Historian, Penn State University

Lindsay S. Cook is an architectural historian, medievalist, digital humanist, translator, and digital preservation advocate. A specialist in medieval European architecture, Dr. Cook’s current research addresses architectural and artistic responses to the Gothic cathedral Notre-Dame of Paris, medievalism in African American architecture, medieval architectural space, and digital and material approaches to the valorization, conservation, and restoration of cultural heritage.

She is the translator of Notre Dame Cathedral: Nine Centuries of History (Penn State, 2020), and her research on medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary histories of Notre-Dame has recently appeared in the journals Future Anterior and Different Visions and the edited volume The Analysis of Gothic Architecture (Brill, 2023). Dr. Cook is a board member of the scholarly association Scientifiques de Notre-Dame and editor of The Notre-Dame Translation Project, which makes open-educational resources about the history, conservation, and restoration of Notre-Dame following the catastrophic 2019 fire available to students and the general public.

Séverine Lepape, Director of the Musée de Cluny (Paris)

Séverine Lepape has served as Director of Musée de Cluny – National Museum of the Middle Ages since September 2019. Since 2014, Séverine Lepape has been a curator at the Musée du Louvre, specifically in the Department of Graphic Arts, where she oversees the Edmond de Rothschild collection.

As an archivist-palaeographer specializing in illumination and printmaking, she holds a doctorate in medieval history from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) under the supervision of Jean-Claude Schmitt. Prior to her position at the Musée du Louvre, she worked at the Bibliothèque nationale de France from 2005 to 2014, initially as the curator of prints and drawings from the 15th to 16th centuries and later as the head of the Reserve Department of Prints and Photography. Madame Lepape is the author of numerous exhibition catalogs and reference works. She has also taught at several institutions, including the École du Louvre, École nationale des Chartes, and the Institut national du patrimoine.

A specialist in medieval iconography and Northern Europe and French graphic arts of the 15th and 16th centuries, she has published numerous acclaimed scholarly articles and books. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including “Mystérieux Coffrets” (Mysterious Coffers, Musée de Cluny, 2019-2020). 

On May 22, 2023, Séverine Lepape inaugurated the museum’s new layout, after a ten-year renovation. She was focused on enhancing the museum’s identity and strengthening the unity of its collection, while increasing its urban visibility and the readability of its collections. 

Joseph Pfeifer, First Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Fire Department

Joseph Pfeifer currently serves as second in command at the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). While at FDNY, Pfeifer served for 38 years. He was the Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness, shaping strategic planning, intelligence sharing, and interagency response. He is the founding director of FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness. As a Battalion Chief on September 11th, he was the first Chief to respond to the World Trade Center attacks. Pfeifer currently serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in Columbia University’s the School of International Public Affairs and the Director of Crisis Leadership at the Columbia Climate School’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, teaching several executive education programs on crisis leadership and leading research teams to examine the preparedness and response of international cities to extreme events, and at the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point, teaching cadets at the U.S. Military Academy.

Matteo Pellegrino, Carpenter, Maison Ateliers Perrault, France

Matteo Pellegrino is a traditional carpenter based in Southeast France. Following his business studies in London, Matteo Pellegrino centered his career around his passion for woodworking and cultural heritage. Since then, he is involved in construction around heritage and heritage sites.

Specializing in local wood and traditional carpentry techniques, he worked with Maison Ateliers Perrault to restore the medieval framework of Notre-Dame de Paris, from selecting wood from forest trees to install in the cathedral’s new apse rafters.

About Heritage Speaks

Villa Albertine, in partnership with World Monuments Funds (WMF), presents Heritage Speaks, a series of public debates revealing the various threats facing cultural heritage sites across the globe today. From climate change and mass tourism to the damage resulting from armed conflicts, this series aims to unpack the challenges facing historic sites and the best preservation solutions emerging among experts and local communities.

Heritage Speaks is organized with the support of Albertine Foundation.

In partnership with

World Monuments Fund (WMF)

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organization is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates in Cambodia, France, India, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Since 1965, our global team of experts has preserved the world’s diverse cultural heritage using the highest international standards at more than 700 sites in 112 countries. Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today’s most pressing challenges: climate adaptation, inclusive heritage, balanced tourism, and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.

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Albertine Foundation

Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In close partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and its arts institution Villa Albertine, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries thanks to corporate, foundation, and individual support.

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