Notre-Dame de Paris
After the French Revolution in 1789, the cathedral was seized from the clergy and made public property. Following several rededications and desecrations, much of Notre-Dame’s original sculptures and artwork had been lost. It wasn’t until 1801 that the cathedral was restored to the Catholic Church under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte, who commissioned a restoration of the landmark’s interior for his coronation as Emperor of the French. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the exterior was in such a dire state of disrepair, the cathedral was at risk of being demolished. Author Victor Hugo raised awareness for the iconic landmark in his 1831 book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, serving as a catalyst for the necessary restoration works, which would be carried out in the mid-nineteenth century.