NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —There’s a new exhibition that shows the process of restoring one of the world’s oldest centers of worship at The Historic New Orleans Collection. It’s all about Paris’ Notre Dame called, Notre Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition.

Dave Walker is the interim Communications Manager at The Historic New Orleans Collection and says, “the living history that is happening in the French Quarter is a perfect host for the story of the many connections between France and Louisiana and France and New Orleans.”

The exhibit is a traveling exhibition, where New Orleans is the only stop in the region. It’s uniquely appropriate, because New Orleans is historic city with it’s own historic French Cathedral. However, the years of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France, pale by comparison to the years of Notre Dame.

Increasingly, cultural institutions are museums around the world continue to incorporate innovative technology into classic storytelling. The “histopad” was created specifically for the exhibition and is a tablet computer that guests use to explore a virtual reality space and learn about the many years of the cathedral. They’ll learn about it’s birth in 1163, Napolean Bonaparte’s coronation, the recent fire of 2019 and the current restoration effort.

The exhibit is a virtual ticket of travel, to Paris France, as Walker says, “it can take you from the digitally created historic look of the scene, to what that exact seen and setting looks like at the Cathedral today.” 

There’s the chance for visitors to take selfies, collect clues for a treasure hunt to build a stained-glass window, see a large reconstructed gargoyle, as well as the real-time efforts of rebuilding. The story of Notre Dame is eternal and the gift shop is complete with souvenirs from the virtual trip to Paris, that includes guillotine earrings.

“I’m always amazed at the parade of historical characters that come through Notre Dame and it’s role in popular culture and it’s role in world history,” says Dave Walker.

The Notre Dame exhibit opens November 15th and is up through March 1st, 2023.