For almost a year now, the Auterivains have been able to see the presence of an important construction site around the Madeleine church, which the municipality has decided to have restored. This does not go without disrupting traffic in the city center, since a crane is installed nearby, for the repair of the roof, which was in very poor condition. This place of worship had indeed been completely closed for a dozen years.
In neo-Romanesque style, the bell tower was built in 1871, and required extensive rehabilitation work. Placed under the responsibility of the firm Letellier, Toulouse architects, specialized among others in this type of project management, this project will last several more months. Interest will be focused here on the repair and rehabilitation of murals and ceilings, original decorations, the oldest of which date from the nineteenth century, others more recent being undated. These paintings have been badly damaged by water infiltration, acting in a harmful way on their support, usually made of plaster. The company specializing in heritage restoration (churches, castles, etc.), mainly mural, L’Atelier d’autan, headquartered in Marquefave, intervenes on this aspect directly employing its own employees, or calling on « free lance » artists.
Thus, Lise Wa, who followed a university course at the European School of Arts and Culture in Albi, is working on the ceiling paintings of one of the chapels. One of her colleagues trained at the Restoration School in Florence, Italy, is working on another.
The rehabilitation of the paintings, frescoes and other religious decorations, should continue until October or November. Impressive scaffolding has been erected throughout the imposing building, to allow the restorers to intervene in complete safety, and this, at very substantial heights.