Notre-Dame: Victor Hugo’s family split over how to rebuild his muse

As debate rages in France over how to rebuild Notre-Dame and the world’s greatest architects are called upon to come up with designs to replace its spire, their fiercest critic would have been the man who saved the cathedral and turned it into a global landmark: Victor Hugo.

That, at least, is the view of the hallowed French writer’s great-great-grandson.

Jean Baptiste Hugo, 66, is a passionate connoisseur of his illustrious forebear – whose work Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) was set in Paris’ Gothic masterpiece – and has painstakingly gathered archives of the family.

Victor Hugo wrote his 1831 novel to draw attention to the sorry state of the cathedral, disfigured by modern…

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