FHS celebrates Toulouse mural restoration [fr]
L-R: Barbara Howell, FHS Atlanta; Jean-Claude Dardelet, City of Toulouse; Debi Akers, FHS Atlanta chapter co-chairman; and Anne Schneider, FHS Atlanta.
Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc speaks as FHS President Comte Denis de Kergorlay and FHS chairman Elizabeth Stribling stand by. Photo: Ville de Toulouse – Bernard AÏACH
Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc speaks in the Salle des Illustres at the Capitole building. Ville de Toulouse – Bernard AÏACH
Speeches are made in Toulouse’s Capitole building during the FHS visit. Ville de Toulouse – Bernard AÏACH
FHS President Comte Denis de Kergorlay and FHS chairman Elizabeth Stribling. Ville de Toulouse – Bernard AÏACH
Mayor of Toulouse Jean-Luc Moudenc and others in the Basilique Notre-Dame la Daurade. Photo: Ville de Toulouse – Frédéric MALIGNE
L-R: Toulouse Vice President Jean-Claude Dardelet, Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc, FHS Chairman Elizabeth Stribling and FHS President Comte Denis de Kergorlay. Photo: Ville de Toulouse – Frédéric MALIGNE
Members of the Atlanta chapter of the French Heritage Society travelled to Toulouse in May to view restored 18th-century murals in the Basilique Notre-Dame la Daurade, a project which the group helped fund.
The murals are located in the choir vault and transept and have not previously been restored. Originally built in 410 on the edifices a pagan temple, the basilica has served numerous purposes over the years, including as a Benedictine monastery. It was demolished and reconstructed in the mid- to late-18th century to allow for the construction of riverside quays. Today the basilica is undergoing major exterior and interior renovation. The work, which began in fall of 2017, comes at an estimated cost of some 5.36 million euros.
Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc welcomed FHS chapter co-chair Debi Akers and members Anne Schneider and Barbara Howell with a private tour of the restored basilica on May 10 and a grant ceremony. In 2017, the Atlanta chapter awarded $10,000 for the restoration of the murals after meeting with delegates from Toulouse during a ceremony in Atlanta celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta-Toulouse sister city relationship.
“I was able to see firsthand, how our grant had positively impacted this project,” Akers said. “The mayor of Toulouse and his constituents were very appreciative of our efforts and I was very happy to see not only the completed project but also to celebrate in such grand style with the people of Toulouse, our sister city.”
Atlanta and Toulouse have been sister cities since 1974, when their respective mayors, Maynard Jackson and Pierre Baudis, signed an agreement pairing the two metropolises. Jackson’s mother pursued a doctorate in French in Toulouse and the former mayor lived in the city as a child.
The French Heritage Society is an American non-profit dedicated to the preservation of French architectural and cultural heritage and its promotion throughout the United States. Established in 1982, the organization has eleven chapters, including one in France.