The four bells that have been ringing out from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for 156 years are to be consigned to the scrap heap. The old bells were dubbed “discordant and ugly” will be replaced with new traditionally made ones from Normandy.
The bells named Angélique-Françoise, Antoinette-Charlotte, Hyacinthe-Jeanne and Denise-David are said to have been making a discordant noise for years.
According to French bell ringer and music expert Hervé Gouriou, these four bells, made and hung in 1856 to replace those that were taken down during the French Revolution are considered “one of the most dreadful sets of bells in France . . . damaged and badly tuned,” The Irish Times reports.
The new set of church bells for Notre Dame will feature eight bells and will be installed to mark the cathedral’s 850th anniversary next year. The new bells are currently being made at a foundry in Normandy.
While some say that the bells are old and ugly and call their sound horrible, others oppose the destruction of the historic bells. Several cultural and religious groups, both in France and abroad want them saved.
The Notre Dame Cathedral along with the bells belongs to the French government.
Patrick Jacquin, Rector of Notre Dame, told the newspaper Le Parisien: “Forty cultural organizations have requested the dilapidated bells… The bells are not for sale, not for destruction, not for melting down,” he said. “But they don’t belong to the church. End of story. On 2nd February, 2013, we will unveil eight new bells that will be blessed.”
The new bells will also be named after important figures of the French history.