Regilded archangel back on France's Mont Saint-Michel

2016-05-26 19:58
A man photographs the statue of the Archangel Michael, regilded and restored. ahead of its placement back atop the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey. (Damien Meyer, AFP)

A man photographs the statue of the Archangel Michael, regilded and restored. ahead of its placement back atop the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey. (Damien Meyer, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Le Mont-Saint-Michel -  The gilded Archangel Michael, resplendent after an expensive 10-week facelift, was airlifted on Thursday back to the top of the historic abbey on the French island of Mont Saint-Michel.

Dozens of tourists cheered as engineers successfully lowered the 520kg copper statue, glinting in the sun, from a helicopter to the top of the church, one of France's most stunning sites.

Artisans from the same foundry that produced New York's Statue of Liberty stripped the statue down to its original copper, which they restored and coated with protective paint.

Then came the gold leaf - twice the amount that was used in the statue's last renovation in 1987, according to Philippe Belaval, head of the French Centre for National Monuments (CMN).

The overhaul costing about $500 000 should help the statue, perched 160m above the rocky tidal island, to withstand whippings by sand-laden winds - as well as lightning strikes - for at least the next 50 years, he added.

One of France's most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its 11th-century Benedictine abbey were put on Unesco's World Heritage List in 1979.

According to legend, a local bishop built a monastery at Mont Saint-Michel in the eighth century after a visit from the Archangel Michael who repeatedly asked him to erect a church on the island.

The statue depicts the archangel ready to strike an evil dragon with his sword.

Mont Saint-Michel, which lies just off the northwestern coast of France, attracts up to three million visitors a year.

Read more on:    france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.