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The future preserving the past

One Reporter’s Ramblings ...

It’s a surreal experience to visit a building while it’s burning.

Notre Dame in Paris, a grand cathedral dating back to the 12th century, caught fire on Monday, sparking an international concern for preserving the beautiful Gothic architecture and the trove of historical artifacts and artwork inside.

Among those was my wife — a history major with a keen interest in architecture.

We are Facebook hermits, so the fact that she posted on the cathedral twice speaks volumes.

In her second post, she shared the official website of Notre Dame and wrote: “Notre Dame is a unique example of history, carved in stone, laid in marble and arranged in colored glass that stood the test of countless wars, changes in ideology and so much more. This is why it should matter. When we lose those pieces of our history, it makes it easier to forget the path we have taken.”

Seeing how much the burning was affecting her, I decided to gamble on a second search after checking the news:“Notre Dame VR.”

We recently purchased a virtual reality headset for our Playstation and have been experimenting with all sorts of games and video content that allow the viewer to feel immersed in the world presented.

Because Notre Dame was in the middle of a restoration with many callingforitspreservation in recent years, the internet is filled with countless photos and videos of the structure from all different angles.

The most impressive to me was “The Man Behind Notre Dame,” available on Youtube in both a flat experience where the user can look around with their mouse ... and VR.

The eight minute documentary follows the Rector-Archpriest of the cathedral, Patrick Chauvet, allowing the man caring for the church to put a human face on the iconic building’s day-to-day operations.

Many have have bemoaned that we are losing our history by fixating on technology and the future, but it’s only thanks to one of the most recent advances in tech that Katie and I were able to look around Notre Dame, gazing at its awe-inspiring ceilings, statues and stained-glass windows. The viewer even gets an upclose view of the bell and gargoyles.

It’s a unique testament to Notre Dame’s centuries of history and significance.

I highly recommend it.

Gaudette is a staff writer at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and report@dublincitizen.com .

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