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Cultural heritage under destruction in France: the demolition of the Saint-Joseph chapel has started


On January 5 the administrative court of Lille rejected the request by the association Urgences Patrimoine to classify the Saint-Joseph Chapel among the historical monuments. The chapel is now being demolished to make way for a large campus for the engineering schools of the Catholic University of Lille.

"I am devastated", reacted Alexandra Sobczak, president of the association Urgences Patrimoine, to the announcement of the decision of the administrative court of Lille. For several months, she has been fighting with other enthusiasts to prevent the destruction of this chapel, built at the end of the 19th century, abandoned for 20 years. “It's the struggle of loneliness”, she sighs, “I feel bitterness and incomprehension”.

The city of Lille had signed the demolition permit at the end of May. The new building will be opened in 2024.

The replacement block proposed by the university. Credit: Saison Menu Architects.

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