FRH Masterclass: “Reconstruction of religious buildings in 20th and 21st century Europe”

FRH Masterclass: “Reconstruction of religious buildings in 20th and 21st century Europe”

2-day masterclass in Germany

FRH members are invited to a new masterclass to reflect on the problem of why and how to rebuild the destroyed historic religious buildings.

The approach to the problem of why and how to rebuild destroyed churches has developed and changed in Europe since the end of WWI, through political and religious changes and through changed understandings of restoration/reconstruction methodology. By looking beyond national borders this 2-day masterclass aims to come to a better understanding of restorations and current polemics.

Because it is important to add that restoration practice and theory has developed since 1918 and there are some fierce discussions about reconstruction. The most obvious was that about how to restore Notre Dame in Paris, what design, what materials, which crafts, and what interior design – especially the proposal by the diocese of Paris to adapt the interior to fit better contemporary worship and celebration of mass was fiercely opposed by many opinion makers in France.

The masterclass has been organised by the RWTH Aachen University, under the leadership of our member Marcus van der Meulen. FRH will offer its the possibility to follow the presentations online or in person free of charge.

 About the speakers

The keynote speaker will be Nazar Kozak (Senior researcher, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine/Associate Professor, University of Lviv). Mathieu Lours (CY Cergy Paris University), one of the leading experts on medieval cathedrals in France, will also hold a lecture.

The event will also feature FRH members such as Anneli Randla (Head of the Department of Conservation and Cultural Heritage at the Estonian Academy of Arts),  Mara Popescu (Architect, Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Targu Mures University / Advisor of Built Cultural Heritage, Cabinet of Minister of Culture of Romania) and Susanne Urban (Head of Research and Information Department of Antisemitism, University Marburg; Chairwoman Moreshet-Jewish Heritage Network).

Check out the programme below to see all the speakers.

When and where?

The masterclass will take place on 25 and 26 September 2023 at the Reiff Museum in Aachen, which is run by the RWTH Aachen Univeristy in Germany. All the presentations will be simultaneously live-streamed for participants joining us remotely, who will also be able to interact and submit their questions.

Registration process

To register, click on the button above and fill in the form indicating whether you wish to participate in person or online. After completing the registration form, you will receive a confirmation email. Participation is free of charge.

  • In person participants will receive the full programme together with some practical information on how to reach the venue at the beginning of September.
  • Online participants will receive the full programme at the beginning of September and the link to the livestream the week before the event.

If you encounter any problems or have any doubts, please write us at

Masterclass programme

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