Beijing’s “New” Cathedral: Renewal of a Classical Monument

When we build,” John Ruskin famously remarked in The Lamp of Memory, “let it not be for present delights nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think ... that men will say, as they look upon the labor and the wrought substance of them, ‘See! This our fathers did for us!’” The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Beijing is undertaking a substantial restoration and renovation of its most famous church, the Xishiku North Cathedral, in a way that would have contented Ruskin’s sensibilities.