When most people think about adding a new creature to the family menagerie, images of “fuzzy” and “cute” spring to mind. Gargoyles and demons? Maybe not so much.
But gargoyles and demons need love, too.
“Love is like a tree,” wrote Victor Hugo his classic Hunchback of Notre Dame. “It shoots of itself; it strikes its roots deeply into our whole being, and frequently continues to put forth green leaves over a heart in ruins.”
After the Cathedral of Notre Dame was partially destroyed by a raging fire in 2019, many of its famous statues and paintings were damaged. Now, thanks to a new crowdfunding effort from Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, the color of love is also the color of money.
People from around the world are being invited to “adopt” their favorite resident monster—or saint—and donate to its restoration.
France’s cathedrals (including Notre-Dame) are all owned by the nation of France, since 1905, rather than the Catholic church.
A click-through gallery catalogs Notre Dame’s extensive art inventory and notes the progress of each individual piece’s fundraising goals. According to site statistics, male saints have taken a substantial early lead.
Sadly, in the upper galleries, the cathedral’s iconic gargoyles and the fabulous 19th-century grotesques that “recreate the fantastic universe of the Middle Ages” have fallen behind in the race for donations. (Joan of Arc could use some help, as well.)
What would Quasimodo do?
Since according to Hugo, “The saints were his friends and blessed him; the monsters were his friends and kept watch over him,” our guess is Notre Dame’s most storied resident would be tolling the bells loud and clear in aid of his cherished friends.
So why not go just ahead and adopt a gargoyle today? C’mon, you know you want to. And the best part is… they’re housebroken.