Pour la sauvegarde du site de Ronchamp

Madame le Ministre de la Culture, La Culture et l\'histoire ne perdurent que si la raison et la memoire sont preservees. L\'histoire de l\'art et celle de l\'architecture obeissent a ces memes principes. Il appartient donc aux representants de la Nation de garantir l\'integrite de son histoire et de ses lieux de memoire. La conservation et la sauvegarde des batiments et des lieux de notre memoire collective releve non seulement d\'un dessein pedagogique mais aussi de la volonte et de la conscience d\'aider les generations futures a construire leur propre destin. Le refus de transmettre ce qui nous fut legue, ouvre les voies a toutes les barbaries. Realisee par Le Corbusier en 1951, la Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut de Ronchamp est aujourd\'hui menacee dans son integrite spatiale et formelle par le projet de construction d\'un edifice d\'hebergement destine, en principe, a la communaute des Clarisses, mais ouvert demain a d\'autres usages. En depit des qualites esthetiques propres de ce projet, et sa volonte de discretion, c\'est le choix de son implantation, qui risque de compromettre a tout jamais l\'harmonie et la cohesion de l\'ensemble du site. C\'est la colline dans son integralite qui constitue l\'architecture de Le Corbusier, avec les chemins d\'arrivee a pied, les quelques batiments auxiliaires, places a des endroits precis, pour permettre le pelerinage et offrir une image de la chapelle au fur et a mesure de l\'ascension. Contrairement aux justifications avancees par les commanditaires de cette nouvelle construction, les propos de Le Corbusier ont toujours ete d\'une grande clarte : -\"Il ne faut pas amenager...Je vous en supplie. Maintenez cet etat present si saisissant!\" -\"Laissez donc Ronchamp tel qu\'il est avec les pelerinages et l\'eglise qui convient aux pelerinages.\" Le projet qui menace la petite colline n\'a donne lieu a aucune entente prealable avec la Fondation Le Corbusier pourtant legataire universel du droit moral et patrimonial ni du reste avec aucun des chercheurs et specialistes qui travaillent dans son entourage. Le permis de construire accepte par les services competents n\'a fait l\'objet d\'aucune reflexion prealable ni d\'aucune concertation adequate compte tenu de la valeur meme du site de Ronchamp. Il y a cinquante ans, Andre Malraux, alors Ministre de la Culture, sauvait la Villa Savoye de la destruction annoncee. Il vous revient, en son digne successeur, de suspendre une telle operation qui ne manquera pas aux yeux de tous les admirateurs de l\'oeuvre de Le Corbusier, de signifier la fin de l\'exception culturelle francaise ; celle d\'un Etat culturel protecteur des artistes de tous les temps et de toutes les generations. De plus quelle contre-publicite pour la culture francaise, que ne manquera pas de susciter dans les esprits le desarroi procure par, d\'un cote votre engagement en faveur du classement de l\'oeuvre de Le Corbusier au patrimoine mondial de l\'Unesco et de l\'autre, a quelques mois d\'intervalle seulement, l\'abandon de toutes vos prerogatives en matiere de sauvegarde et de protection du site de Ronchamp. Nous sommes prets a vous rencontrer, pour vous exposer, si vous le jugez necessaire, plus longuement notre argumentaire. Dans l\'attente de votre reponse, recevez, Madame le Ministre, l\'expression de notre tres haute consideration. ENGLISH VERSION: Madame the Cultural Minister, Culture and history will last only if reason and memory are preserved. The history of art and the architecture follow these same principles. It is the mission of the representatives of the Nation to guarantee the integrity of its history and the places where that history lives on. The conservation and preservation of buildings and places of our collective memory pertain not only to educational purposes but also to the will and conscience to help future generations build their own destiny. The refusal to transmit what was bequeathed us, opens avenues to all forms of barbarity. Produced by Le Corbusier in 1951, the Chapel Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp is now threatened in its spatial and formal integrity by the construction project of a residential building intended, in principle, for the community of the \"Clarisses\", but potential open for other uses. Despite the aesthetic qualities of this project and its deliberate discretion, it is the choice of its location, which may permanently jeopardize the harmony and cohesion of the entire site. This is the hill with in its totality which is the architecture of Le Corbusier, with the footpaths on with pedestrians arrive auxiliary structures, place precisely for pilgrimage and providing an image of the chapel at the perfect moment of ascent. Contrary to the justification put forward by the sponsors of this new construction, Le Corbusier s intentions have always been totally clear: -- \"Don t make changes ... I beg you. Keep it in its present, gripping state!\" -- \"Leave Ronchamp as it is for pilgrimages with the church which is suitable for pilgrimages.\" The project that threatens the small hill has been made without any prior agreement with the Fondation Le Corbusier even though the foundation is legal responsible for the rights and patrimony of the architect s work, nor with any of the rest of the researchers and specialists who work the Le Corbusier s architecture. The building permit accepted by the authority in charge reflects neither prior consultation nor adequate analysis of the qualities of the site. Fifty years ago, Andre Malraux, then minister of Culture, saved the Villa Savoye from the destruction that was about to occur. It is your responsibility, as his worthy successor, to suspend such an operation which will not fail in the eyes of all admirers of the work of Le Corbusier, to represent the end of what is extraordinary in French culture: that of a cultural state which protects artists of all time and all generations. In additions what a negative publicity for French culture, for it will suggest disarray in a government that the one hand is committed to classify the work of Le Corbusier as a World Heritage Site by Unesco and on the other, a few months interval alone, the abandons of all your prerogatives in the matter of its responsibility to safeguard and protect the Ronchamp site. We are ready to meet with you to present to you, if you consider it necessary, our arguments. Awaiting your answer, please accept, Madame the Cultural Minister, the expression of our highest respect.

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