In 1956, the Council of Europe proudly presented its precious and delicate gift for Strasbourg Cathedral. The first European institution contributed to the reconstruction of the war-damaged Gothic monument, and donated a choir window designed and built by the French master of stained glass, Max Ingrand. It was also a sign of welcome and wpartnership to the city in which the Council had taken root itself. The window shows the "Blessing Madonna" spreading her arms gracefully. In the top compartment of the window, the twelve stars of Europe shine on a blue background. The inclusion of the recently designed European flag in the window did not seem to have stirred any confusing ripples then, at a time when the European movement and the early post-war European institutions were closely connected to the Christian heritage of Europe. The fact that the window was furthermore dedicated to the first General Secretary of the Council of Europe, Jacques Camille Paris, who died in 1953, illustrates this broadly shared connection.
Schulz-Forberg, H. (2011)., Before integration, in M. Spiering & M. Wintle (eds.), European identity and the second world war, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 37-54.
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