The Man Who Saved French Architecture

Prosper Mérimée saved French architecture from 19th Century developers. “This surge of enthusiasm came from several sources. First, a panicky realisation that parts of France were just being demolished, carted away, broken up. The principled (or vindictive) hostility of revolutionaries to the property of aristocracy and church had given way to pragmatic recycling by builders treating ancient monuments as quarries, and antiquarians rounding up loot to sell abroad.”