Is this a phenomenon due to chance or the work of an inspired master glassmaker? Until March 2022, the “green ray” of Strasbourg Cathedral continued to fuel speculation. This beam of light, born from the diffusion of light by the green pane of a stained glass window, illuminated twice a year, during the spring and autumn equinoxes, a statue of Christ from the Geiler pulpit in Kaysersberg. Last spring, following a restoration and the removal of a patina on the transparent glass, the green ray disappeared…
This restoration – reversible – is the subject of Tuesday, March 14 of the examination of an appeal before the administrative court of Strasbourg. This was filed by Julien Laurent, lawyer for Maurice Rosart, Alsatian surveyor who discovered the phenomenon in 1972 and who then publicized it from the 1980s. Since then, hundreds of people, amateurs of Twice a year, the esoteric or simply curious attended the appearance of green light on the canopy and the crucifix of the statue of Christ.
For Me Laurent, who himself launched a petition for the return of the “green ray”, the disappearance of the ray is due to “a decision” of the General Directorate of Cultural Affairs (Drac) of the Grand Est, which he denounces as “an isolated, unjustified act that is not part of a renovation campaign”. Contacted by La Croix, the Drac did not wish to speak.
The prudent diocese
In a letter dated December 12, the Archdiocese of Strasbourg indicated that it did not oppose the return of the green ray if it was made possible by Drac experts. Father Regis Muntzinger, archpriest of the cathedral, however, regrets that these episodes have attracted “groups not quite respectful” of the building. He also wishes to reject the esoteric interpretations made by certain followers of the green ray and criticizes Maurice Rosart for “indecent” theories on the symbols of the cathedral, compiled in a controversial work.
Despite the enthusiasm that the green ray has aroused, the date and reason for the installation of the glass that makes it possible have not yet been determined. Father Muntzinger sees the phenomenon as a “chance”, recalling that the “stained glass windows were put back in place randomly” at the end of the Second World War.
For his part, Maurice Rosart wants to believe that this glass was deliberately placed in the 1880s during the design of the stained glass window. “Judah lifts his robe to clear his left foot, where the low-obscuring green tile is located. He points his index finger towards his foot and raises his head looking up, towards a stained glass window which represents a sun, ”argues his lawyer. A study commissioned by the Drac last fall will provide more information on this phenomenon.
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