The Church of St Jacques in Abbeville near Destruction

1. Victor Delefortie
Church of Saint Jacques, state on 7/5/10
Photo : Didier Rykner

4/2/13 - Heritage - Abbeville, église Saint Jacques - Nicolas Dumont, the mayor of Abbeville, must be feeling proud of himself. His strategy of letting the matter fester indefinitely will soon be the undoing of the church of Saint Jacques (ill. 1).

We had provided a lengthy description here of the building, of great architectural quality, which the city was abandoning to its fate. Our article, now dating back to almost three years ago, is still relevant as, almost, nothing has been done to start the work or even stabilize the situation. For a moment, we had believed that the mayor had finally come to his senses and realized the gravity of the conditions since he had the roof protected with tarps but no structural work has been undertaken. A few days ago, some stones fell resulting in the evacuation of several surrounding houses. This morning, an expert came and a buttress was thrown down causing the collapse of part of the apse (ill. 2 and 3) without installing any protections from the bad weather.

2. Victor Delefortie
Church of Saint-Jacques
View of the apse with a broken window
State on 7/5/10
Photo : Didier Rykner

3. Victor Delefortie
Church of Saint-Jacques
View of the apse, now partly destroyed
State on 4/2/13
Photo : Sylvie de Lange

On Thursday, 7 February, an extraordinary meeting of the municipal council will meet to decide, in the mayor’s own words : whether to restore the church or destroy it. How can anyone think for a single second that the city of Abbeville, which has not taken any interest in this building since the beginning and has systematically refused to restore it, might now do so, especially since part of it has collapsed. It looks like the church of Saint Jacques in Abbeville will probably be destroyed. We can only hope now that the city residents will not forget the next time they vote at the municipal elections. Perhaps the departure of the mayor might spare them from seeing the city belfry spoiled by the museum extension he wants to erect alongside.

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Didier Rykner, mardi 5 février 2013

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