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Switch to Forum Live View 'Ahmed,' a French Cathedral's Muslim Gargoyle
4 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2010 - 8:44PM #1
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Addition to 12th century Roman Catholic cathedral draws ire of hardliners; priest calls sculpture a 'beautiful gesture'


 msnbc.com
updated 9/7/2010 

  
Gargoyles — their contorted faces serving the dual purpose of warding off evil spirits and operating as rain gutters — are ubiquitous on the dramatic facades of Europe's Medieval cathedrals.

But a recent addition to the 12th century Roman Catholic Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral in Lyon, France, features a slightly less traditional face: one of a Muslim man.

The gargoyle, nicknamed "Ahmed," perches above an inscription of "Allah Akhbar," or "God is the Greatest," in both French and Arabic, the AFP news agency reported. (Continues)


 


Yahoo Slide Show featuring "Ahmed"



Ahmed Benzizine


Ahmed  Benzizine stands next to the gargoyle portraying him at the Saint Jean  cathedral in Lyon, central France, Wednesday Sept.8, 2010. The Muslim  worker who spent nearly four decades  helping to restore an ancient cathedral in Lyon has been immortalized  before he retires, as a winged gargoyle peering from the facade of the  edifice with the inscription 'God is Great' in French and Arabic


 


Awesome tribute. I love Gargoyles.


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4 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2010 - 11:34PM #2
Erey
Posts: 18,423

LOL,  I know being depectied as a gargoyle is not very flattering most of the time but I sure would be touched. 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 10:02PM #3
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Sep 8, 2010 -- 11:34PM, Erey wrote:


LOL,  I know being depectied as a gargoyle is not very flattering most of the time but I sure would be touched. 


 



As would I. He'll live forever in effigy. And the church Fathers, in any year and even unto the next century, providing the planet's still here Wink, will be able to tell tourists or the curious the name of that Gargoyle and how he came into being. Especially in that region where Muslims may feel besieged by Sarkozy and the French government, it's an excellent gesture.


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.



"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 10:41PM #4
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:02PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


Sep 8, 2010 -- 11:34PM, Erey wrote:


LOL,  I know being depectied as a gargoyle is not very flattering most of the time but I sure would be touched. 


 



As would I. He'll live forever in effigy. And the church Fathers, in any year and even unto the next century, providing the planet's still here , will be able to tell tourists or the curious the name of that Gargoyle and how he came into being. Especially in that region where Muslims may feel besieged by Sarkozy and the French government, it's an excellent gesture.


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.





Next...............


So how maqny French gothic cathredrals have y'all visited?? Read and absorbed PILLARS OF THE EARTH??


Many years ago my family and I spent one day visiting and studying Notre Dame in Paris, having recently visited St. Peter's in Rome, Romanesque, of course. Stopped in at Westminister in London, too.


Actually flying butresses engage me more than gargoyles.

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 11:26PM #5
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:41PM, jane2 wrote:


Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:02PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


Sep 8, 2010 -- 11:34PM, Erey wrote:


LOL,  I know being depectied as a gargoyle is not very flattering most of the time but I sure would be touched. 


 



As would I. He'll live forever in effigy. And the church Fathers, in any year and even unto the next century, providing the planet's still here , will be able to tell tourists or the curious the name of that Gargoyle and how he came into being. Especially in that region where Muslims may feel besieged by Sarkozy and the French government, it's an excellent gesture.


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.





Next...............


So how many French Gothic cathedrals have y'all visited?? Read and absorbed PILLARS OF THE EARTH??


Many years ago my family and I spent one day visiting and studying Notre Dame in Paris, having recently visited St. Peter's in Rome, Romanesque, of course. Stopped in at Westminster in London, too.


Actually flying buttresses engage me more than gargoyles.



I would agree the architecture of the flying buttress can easily become a favorite.
You should visit the Cologne Cathedral, if you want to further your awe for extraordinary masterwork.
Even there I adore their Gargoyles. Buttresses are one thing and definitely a favorite, but the caricature afforded by the Gargoyle , is what engages my attention and curiosity.


And I can not say I've read much of Follett.


"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 12:09AM #6
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Sep 10, 2010 -- 11:26PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:41PM, jane2 wrote:


Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:02PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


Sep 8, 2010 -- 11:34PM, Erey wrote:


LOL,  I know being depectied as a gargoyle is not very flattering most of the time but I sure would be touched. 


 



As would I. He'll live forever in effigy. And the church Fathers, in any year and even unto the next century, providing the planet's still here , will be able to tell tourists or the curious the name of that Gargoyle and how he came into being. Especially in that region where Muslims may feel besieged by Sarkozy and the French government, it's an excellent gesture.


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.





Next...............


So how many French Gothic cathedrals have y'all visited?? Read and absorbed PILLARS OF THE EARTH??


Many years ago my family and I spent one day visiting and studying Notre Dame in Paris, having recently visited St. Peter's in Rome, Romanesque, of course. Stopped in at Westminster in London, too.


Actually flying buttresses engage me more than gargoyles.



I would agree the architecture of the flying buttress can easily become a favorite.
You should visit the Cologne Cathedral, if you want to further your awe for extraordinary masterwork.
Even there I adore their Gargoyles. Buttresses are one thing and definitely a favorite, but the caricature afforded by the Gargoyle , is what engages my attention and curiosity.


And I can not say I've read much of Follett.





PILLARS OF THE EARTH is mainstream reading in my family. My youngest daughter gave it to me many years ago.


Actually Father Andrew Greeley wrote a fascinating novel about the Cologne Cathedral. Gave a copy to a friend who had been there.


One of my minors in college was history, half ot it European history, which I love. Of course, in Catholic college, we also studied the birth of the Gothic cathedrals. Flying butresses made these cathedrals possible. That is just history.


My favorite Cathedral in the US is St. Patrick's on some of the most prime real estate on Fifth Avenue in New York. It's history can be read in AMERICAN CATHOLIC by Charles Morris. It's even a bit kitschy, but it commands mid-Manhattan Fifth Avenue.


Except for visiting my daughter5 in California and my son's family in Charlotte my traveling days are over--I'm 70 and ahte the hassle travel has become. My memories, however, are enough. Gracious, at 33 I had circumnavigated the globe with many stops and my husband and I kept travelling because we loved it.


The story about the gargoyle in southern France was interesting but not phenominal to me.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 3:44AM #7
Andrejohn
Posts: 3

Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:02PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.







what a cute gargoyle, it's even smiling :)

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 2:46PM #8
whirligngg
Posts: 1,871

Jane says--


"PILLARS OF THE EARTH is mainstream reading in my family. My youngest daughter gave it to me many years ago."


 


Jane--have you read the sequel---"World Without End"? It came out a few years ago.


 


It's very good too.


As one who studied Gothic Cathedrals while doing Masters work (including doing onsite research in the Isle de France) I can say that Follett did extensive research and got most of the technical info right--withi the limits of what was known when he ws writing "Pillars." Ongoing research into the techniques of Gothic cathedral architects/masons shows ever more ingenuity on their partt.


It's a great field of study.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 2:52PM #9
whirligngg
Posts: 1,871

Weep--


 


Thanks for the cool photos.


Most of Folletts writing before "Pillars" and "World" was spy novels--which he does exceedingly well.


 


Gothic cathedrals and their masons caught his fancy and he spent a number of years doing research before he wrote his gtwo Gothic cathdral books.


There is also a recently made for cable movie out on dvd based on "Pillars"

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2010 - 5:23PM #10
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Sep 11, 2010 -- 3:44AM, Andrejohn wrote:


Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:02PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


I've adored Gargoyles for a very long time. One of my favorites is the Baby Dragon (at least that's what I call her) Gargoyle at Llangadwaladr Church in north Wales.







what a cute gargoyle, it's even smiling :)



I know. That's part of the charm that makes her one of my favorites. It's like she's just a baby, waiting for her feeding with the dragon bottle.  lol


"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
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