The mayor, Jean Leonetti, visited the Garoupe Chapel's construction site, which has been in progress for several weeks. The renovated sanctuary will welcome a selection of votive offerings. Next to the building, a small snack bar has been erected.
One of the most beautiful chapels in Antibes, France, Notre Dame de La Garoupe is getting a facelift. The saltpeter (Potassium nitrate) that was eating away at its walls and vaults has been removed. The first phase of rehabilitation cost the city two million euros. Another 150,000 euros were needed for the second phase of work -- to scrape and treat the walls that are still damaged.
A snack bar was also built and it will be managed by a diocesan team. “This is the novelty of this religious site,” emphasized Father Paul Chalard, parish priest. "Starting in May, we will open the snack bar, as well as a religious souvenir store. It will be a place of welcome, prayer, sharing, rejuvenation, and restoration,” he added.
This year, Olivier Michelis, president of the Marins d’antibes corporation, will organize the celebrations of Notre Dame de Bon Port (July 7-10, 2016) in the chapel where the saint will once again be placed on the holy throne. The official opening of the chapel, originally planned for May, has been rescheduled for July.
A large mass, the first in several months, will be celebrated then.
The chapel was, therefore, still under construction during the visit of Jean Leonetti. The mayor wished for a perfect coordination between the Church and the local associations that keep these places alive.
Pierre Magherini, the president of Amis du sanctuaire de la Garoupe (Friends of the Garoup Sanctuary), nevertheless took advantage of this visit to point out that his association had financed a large part of the restoration of the altarpiece and the votive offerings, and that he wished to be associated with the latter.
This got a rather firm response from Leonetti: “I would like to ask you, M. Magherini, to not make this subject controversial. You should cooperate with the three other associations that are working on the site and not forget that you are currently in a church. It’s therefore the priest who is in charge of the votive offerings. Those who are considered remarkable should be installed in priority.” Father Chalard specified that, on his end, he had several demands to install votive offerings to thank the Virgin-Mary.
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Original article, originally posted in French here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.