Box organ for Notre-Dame cathedral to be built in Brussels

Brussels organ builder Johan Deblieck has been commissioned to build a small box organ for Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. The reopening of the cathedral, which was badly damaged in a fire in 2019, is scheduled for the end of this year.

Deblieck, whose workshop is in Anderlecht, has been building box organs for more than 30 years and is considered a world authority on the subject. One of his instruments in France was rented by Notre-Dame as a temporary replacement following the fire. He was then contacted to build a new, exact replica for the cathedral, according to VRT NWS.

Deblieck's instrument will not replace either of the cathedral's two main organs, which survived the fire relatively unscathed. His box organ is smaller and more mobile, and is often used as an accompanying instrument for a choir, such as during performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion.

"I was stunned when they called me with the job"

"I was stunned when they called me with the job," Deblieck told VRT. "It took me weeks to process this feeling. My job is a real passion, otherwise you wouldn't be an organ builder."

It was announced last month that the cathedral would reopen to the public on 8 December. The 19th-century spire, which collapsed in the fire, has already been replaced. Not all renovations will be done in 2024, with some continuing after the opening.


#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO CHRISTOPHE ENA / POOL / AFP

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