Amiens Cathedral in Colour
Amiens' colourful cathedral © Amiens métropole / ADRT80-PC
An outstanding example of how to recreate the polychromatic appearance of Gothic portals since its laser restoration, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a genuine revelation. It gave birth to a show bringing the saints, apostles and other figures that populate the cathedral back to life, restoring their bright colours by projecting high-definition digital images.
From stone to colours
Laser cleaning of the Southern portal, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and known as the portal of the Mother of God (Mère-Dieu), began in 1992. Through the gradual discovery of colours it proved that Europe's Gothic cathedrals had painted facades. The polychromy discovered on the portals thus reveals the use of bright colours on all the cathedral's sculptures as early as the 13th century.
Though it seemed impossible to consider repainting the whole of the western facade of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens , it did appear conceivable to use a very high quality projection and sound technical system in order to restore its polychromy. Thanks to a system whereby light is projected through a translucent screen on which the colours of the statues were recreated and thus restored, the "colourful Amiens cathedral" show is now staged on the square of the greatest Gothic cathedral in France, from June to September, and during the Christmas holidays, from the 1st of December to the 1st of January.