Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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I agree that Cobh Cathedral has a sentimental/historic value and a wealth of detail. It would however, be completely inadequate to reduce its signicifance to these elements alone. Perhaps more important are its religious and cultural significance. Over the past six months I have been struck by the complete absence of a detailed inventory or academic study of this most important building. WHile many of the studies that have been done are good in themselves they lack the comprehensiveness that a building like Cobh deserves. Also the existing studies are almost excluisively concentrated on English language sources – which in the case of Cobh are always secondary and derivitave. Some of my efforts have touched the only the surface of the cultural depth of the iconographic scheme of the cathedral. Its iconographic prototypical antecedents, as I hope I have been able to indicate in some schematic way, reach right back to the very foundations of European culture and civilisation. The earliest of these from late antiquity being mediated through the Middle Ages -especially in Burgundy – and fianlly in the great Cathedral of Northern France in the gothic age. To this, must be added the “aracheological” researches of A.N. Didron which he publishjed between 1844-and 1871. All of this is behind Cobh Cathedral but to it must be added the peculairly “Irish” twist to the interest in the medieval which was represented by the scholarship of the Celtic Revival. WHile the tympan of the West door in Cobh can trance is iconographic origin to Santa Pudenziana in Rome, and closely resembles St Clothilde in PAris in several respects, the inclusion of figures such as Colman and Ita make a loud statement that all of this cultural inheritance has been “inculturated” in a very particular form, not only in Ireland, but in the locality of the present Cathedral itself.

I cannot tell you how outraged I am that a clown would propose digging out one of the most important floors in the building, atomizing it and using it as salvage WITHOUT ever bothering to know anything of its significance – either cultural or religious. No study has been done on the iconographic scheme of the mosaic work in Cobh. Yet any hooligan is apparently at liberty to walk in and dig holes in the floor with immunity. Clearly, Cobh Town Council is not fit to be in charge of cow-sheds let alone one of the most important monuments in the country.

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