When terrorists raze Mosul antiquities in Iraq and Syria, and Buddhas in Afghanistan, they seek to destroy their heritage. Germany may have rebuilt castles annihilated in the World War II, but, their authenticity can never be recreated. Preserving art and architecture preserve civilization. These thoughts and more filled our mind as we spoke to French Heritage Society President Denis de Kergorlay at their black tie gala. These antiquities, he said, are “exactly what they hate. They want to serve their vision of God and they hate anything that is different.”
“So, imagine if we let them go,” de Kergorlay said. “They will come to the Louvre, our museums, the Metropolitan, and they will wreck everything.” The French clearly will not allow it.
“We have to be together to fight this enemy,” de Kergorlay told the room in The Pierre, after the French anthem had played. Our history of alliance towards common core values began when Lafayette commandeered the Hermione to help America win it’s independence. “We have so much in common and now we have had our own 9/11,” said de Kergorlay.
A Rockefeller grant helped restore Versailles after the war. Two years ago, the French Heritage Society began restoring The Maison de l’Education de la Légion d’Honneur, located in the Saint-Denis Parisian suburb where many of the terrorists lived, near the cathedral of Saint Denis, rumored to be a target. “It is a contradiction,” Kergolay told Hamptons.com, “The Basilica where all the kings of France have been buried and a very important monument in France… is a place where the immigration has been very important, so it’s within that suburb that there were a group of terrorists yesterday.”
Board member Jean Shafiroff had recently returned from a mother/daughter trip to Paris and, last weekend organized a candlelight vigil with Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney in memory of the victims of the recent Paris attacks, which gave information on charities and organizations providing assistance to those affected, as well as travel guidance. This evening, the Shafiroffs hosted Lady Liliana Cavendish, Ann Rapp, Roy Kean, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Federico Wasserman, Catherine Sabino and Hunt Slonem at their table. Interior Designer Juan Pablo Molyneux and Ambassador of Champagne Taittinger Vitalie Taittinger were honored.
Elizabeth Stribling helms the French Preservation Society Board. Members include David M. Gray, Isabelle Lefebvre Vary, Patricia Bauman, CeCe Black, Yann Coatanlem, Christian Draz, Ronald Lee Fleming, Richard E. Gutman, Gurnee Hart, Dena Kaye, Isabelle de Laroullière, Sarah de Lencquesaing, Michèle le Menestrel Ullrich, Kazie Metzger Harvey, Juan Pablo Molyneux, Jay Robert Paul, George P. Sape, Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt, Ann Van Ness and John R. Worthington.
For more information, visit frenchheritagesociety.org.