In recent years there have been a number of high profile incidents which have shaken the art world and general public to their core. The notre dame cathedral fire and Glasgow school of art fires are excellent examples of this. Both these fires took hold very quickly and severely damaged both buildings and the repair costs for both could go into the hundreds of million. This begs the question to what extent should money be pledged in the name of art? Throughout this article I will look at both the pros and cons of re building these buildings and just what would be needed to ensure they are restored well and accurately.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame cathedral was built in 1163 and is likely the world most visited cathedral. Each year it attracts millions of visitors who want to see its complex architecture and learn more about its history. Unfortunately a few months ago the cathedral was caught in a fire and was severely damaged by a blaze which destroyed much of the roof and the cathedral’s famous spire as well. Thankfully no one was injured when this happened. In  the aftermath of the fire many high profile figures came out of the woodwork to say they would pledge money to help restore the old cathedral to its formal glory. However in the days following the fire it was thought that the costs of a full restoration and repair could run into over 100 million pounds. Reaction in France was overwhelming as many in the city were deeply upset and saddened by the damage done to the cathedral , This potentially lead to an increase in pledges to help restore the cathedral as it meant so much to the local people that lived there. However on the other hand there were some people from the international community who condemned the hefty donation pledges as virtue signalling and they argued that the cost of fully restoring the cathedral was extravagant and could be better spent. This has prompted a debate which is still going on about how french authorities should go about repairing Notre Dame cathedral.

Glasgow School Of Art

Another high profile case which is being investigated is that of the destruction of the Glasgow school of art.  In 2014 the Glasgow school of art was gutted by a fire which was thought to have been caused by a faulty projector in one of the art rooms. The fire quickly spread and destroyed most of the art school.  In the wake of this money was pledged in order to restore the property. By 2018 the restoration was well underway and was estimated to be just months away from completion. However in June 2018 the art school was in flames again. The second blaze was much more severe than the first and gutted almost all of the building. In addition to this nearby buildings such as the 02 abc and pavillion theatre as well as bars and restaurants were closed for a number of months as a result an exclusion zone implemented by the cit council.


The damage and destruction of these buildings in such a short space of time clearly illustrates the need for older historical buildings as well as other art establishments having better fire prevention systems installed alongside a better working knowledge of fire safety