In danger, this remarkable church in Haute-Loire will soon be saved

In danger, this remarkable church in Haute-Loire will soon be saved
In danger, this remarkable church in Haute-Loire will soon be saved

The Heritage Foundation has just revealed the names of the first hundred sites to benefit from the national collection in favor of the religious heritage of villages in France. The campaign will help finance the restoration of these endangered buildings, including the church of Polignac in Haute-Loire which had the happy surprise of being part of the list.

At almost 1000 years old, the Saint-Martin church in Polignac, in Haute-Loire, was in great need of a little makeover. Several restoration campaigns were carried out during the 20the century: bell tower, stained glass windows, roof… The building, classified as a Historic Monument since 1902, is today very fragile at the level of its porch and the cut stones which support it.

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The Saint-Martin church in Polignac, in Haute-Loire, will benefit from major restoration and consolidation work.

© Elodie Brot-Monnier / France 3 Auvergne

“The stones are cracked by time, wear and water infiltration. They absolutely need to be replaced”explains Jean-Paul Vigouroux, the mayor, pointing to the imposing pillars of the Gothic architectural facade. “This is urgent work because if it were to fail, the porch could tip over”continues the mayor of this small town at the gates of Puy-en-Velay, recently labeled Most Beautiful Villages of France.

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The bell tower, the roof and the stained glass windows had benefited from a first restoration in the 1980s.

© Elodie Brot-Monnier / France 3 Auvergne

The work began a few days ago, without yet knowing that they were going to benefit from welcome assistance… That of the national collection from the Heritage Foundation in favor of the religious heritage of the villages of France. Entrusted to Stéphane Bern, This operation is open to all donors. Each contributor benefits from a tax exemption. “This exemption amounts to 75% of the amount given. For a donation of 100 euros, this amounts to 25 euros spent. It’s good news”enthuses the chosen one.

The donations will be used for exterior work, necessary for the safety of the building, but also for the restoration of mural paintings recently discovered at the rear of the church choir. Dated from the end of the 14th centurye century, they represent the last judgment and the life of the Virgin. “These frescoes are very valuable. They will be even more valuable once the restorations have been carried out. Up close, you can see the cracks. It became urgent to carry out restorations”details Nicolas Bissonnier, the manager of the Polignac fortress, another emblematic historical monument of the village.

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Murals inside the Saint-Matin church will also be renovated.

© Elodie Brot-Monnier / France 3 Auvergne

Nearly 60 donors have already contributed to saving the Polignac church, for a little over 18,000 euros. Welcome help as the total cost of the renovation is estimated at more than 500,000 euros. The work is expected to last a year.

Comments collected by Laurent Cluzel / France 3 Auvergne

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