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Spectacular Light Show At Notre Dame Cathedral Commemorates World War I

The show celebrates the Gothic cathedral's role in French history as well as the end of the First World War.

For just one more night, the facade of Notre Dame de Paris will display a light show for the ages, designed to celebrate both the cathedral's enduring majesty and the centenary of World War I.

The show, "Dame de Coeur," tells the story of the cathedral and its role in French history for the benefit of a fictitious injured American soldier in the First World War who tells a young French nurse that he fears dying before he ever sees the fabled French Gothic church.

The 20-minute video projection, using 3D mapping, includes 17 luminous images and is the creation of director Bruno Seillier. The message of the light show is a reminder that the 850-year-old cathedral has survived revolutions, rioting, vandals, and two world wars.

"The power of the century stops at the door of the sanctuary," said Seillier, according to Le Figaro.

Still, time and pollution have taken their toll on the medieval masterpiece. The cathedral is in need of repair. The French government and the archdiocese of Paris don't see eye to eye on how to split the cost of restoration. Both hope that, with about 12 million visitors annually, a public fundraising campaign in the United States, will help raise the necessary funds.

The light show, which began November 7 and ran twice a night, ends November 11.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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