Last year everyone in the world stopped to mourn Notre-Dame in Paris after a devastating fire destroyed the roof of the cathedral. This disaster was a good reminder of the power and importance of the world’s historic cultural sites.
Preserving heritage sites can seem like a heavy task, not worth the time and efforts in this increasingly digital world however these sites provide not only a source of identity to locals but also serve as a community hub for cultural activities. Numerous historic world heritage sites around the world are struggling to find a balance between maintaining their relevancy in this modern world and preserving their authenticity as a site of historical importance. The UNESCO certified Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon, France, is showcasing their best practices in unified heritage preservation and community building through time lapse video.
The Basilica is described by many in the City of Lyon as the heart of the region and its location nestled on the top of the hill overlooking the city has over 2000 years of rich history. With over 2.5 million annual visitors, each visitor makes the trek up the hill for different reasons and everyone leaves with a unique experience that is both spiritual and cultural.
In 1998 the Basilica created the Fourvière Foundation, a non-profit responsible for up keeping the historical property as well as the operation of the property’s tourist and cultural activities. The Foundation is a key member of the Lyon community and works in partnership with the City of Lyon and the Auvergne-Rhone-Alps Region.
The Fourvière Foundation is currently spearheading a giant renovation and restoration project, rightfully named “New Momentum for Fourvière,” that was started in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2022. As with all of the Basilica’s activities this project is multi-faceted and is intended to strengthen the site’s spiritual, cultural, tourist, and philanthropic activities.
Inclusivity is a major theme of this project and the Foundation is working with many community groups to ensure that Notre-Dame de Fourvière continues to be a sanctuary for all. This year a new restaurant will open on the site in partnership with Apprentis d’Auteuil, an organization that provides at risk youth with apprenticeship opportunities. The Foundation is committed to creating numerous job opportunities for at-risk community members as well those with disabilities. Numerous local charitable organizations will also be welcomed to use the newly created community space to run their various activities. Time lapse is being used to document the entire project. This footage allows the Basilica to create a more memorable experience for the entire community and serve as an archival reference that can be enjoyed by future generations.