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Mathieu Lustrerie is Restoring the Notre Dame Chandeliers Plan your Visit

April 15, 2019, is seared in our minds as the day we watched images of Notre Dame de Paris in flames with a mix of horror and terrific sadness. Once the Paris Fire Brigade extinguished the flames and saved the rest of the cathedral from complete disaster. The fire started at the roof level, destroying the wooden structure and the beautiful spire. Fortunately, some of the artwork had been removed before the restoration work that was taking place at the time. But what about the chandeliers?

Restoring Notre Dame Chandeliers

Having survived the fire, these resilient masterpieces require detailed restoration work to reclaim their former glory. For those venturing to Provence this summer, a visit to Mathieu Lustrerie in Gargas, nestled in the picturesque Luberon Valley, is a must. This renowned establishment is a global leader in chandelier restorations.

Mathieu Lustrerie is Restoring the Notre Dame Chandeliers

Photo ©Mathieu Lustrerie

The restoration journey for the 13 chandeliers, candelabras, 60 light arms, and the crown of light from the chapel of the Sept-Douleurs is a meticulous one, spanning six months. By appointment, the public is invited to Mathieu Lustrerie in Gargas to witness the intricate steps and the surprising number of trades involved in these lights. Each light requires the collaboration of specialists in crystal, bronze, metal gilding, varnishing, and polishing. Above all, the artisans’ patience and skill breathe new life into these treasures.

Chandeliers and Mathieu Lustrerie

Many magnificent chandeliers, each with a rich historical significance, suffered from the passage of time and destruction during the French Revolution and World Wars. As a result, historical monuments are a cornerstone of the work at Mathieu Lustrerie. The team restored stunning chandeliers in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, the hallways of the Opera Garnier in Paris, the Musée du Louvre, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, among many others.

Restoring an old chandelier requires careful study of the condition of the materials and, if possible, drawings or photos. Plans are developed, followed by a model. Next, the bronze work involves multiple steps—moulds, casting, and installation.

A chandelier is more than just a light; it is an art form, and Mathieu Lustrerie merits the prestigious label Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (EPV). The EPV designation is open to production, transformation, repair, and restoration trades. Earning this accreditation involves a rigorous selection process, and the badge stands for five years, although it is renewable. Consequently, professions considered for EPV use traditional working methods related to art and culture.

Mathieu Lustrerie is Restoring the Notre Dame Chandeliers

Photo ©Mathieu Lustrerie

Mathieu Lustrerie History

Régis Mathieu’s father, Henri, a visionary and a master of his craft, founded Mathieu Lustrerie in 1948 with a workshop in the Chute-Lavie district of Marseille. Henri’s sudden death in 1982 left his wife Yvette responsible for their company until Régis, following in his father’s footsteps, assumed the complete operations of Mathieu Lustrerie in 1990. After outgrowing the original location in Marseille and a desire to modernize, the atelier relocated to a former ocher factory in Gargas in 2002. Régis Mathieu, a true artisan who works with bronze to design and restore chandeliers, continues his father’s legacy.

Information for your Visit

The exhibition, a partnership with the public institution Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris and labelled “Vers la réouverture” (Closer to the Opening), runs until September 22, 2024. To visit the exhibition, you must register and phone Mathieu Lustrerie. The 13 chandeliers are visible at various stages of restoration.

During your tour of the Mathieu Lustrerie factory, explore the collection of over 1,000 chandeliers from different eras.

Mathieu Lustrerie Atelier & Museum
432 route de croagnes
Hameau des Sauvans
84400 Gargas
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 74 92 40

Book your tour online.

Learn about Régis Lustrerie’s connection with Porsche.


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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