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French Heritage Society (FHS) and The American Friends of
L’Abbaye de Lagrasse
“Abbaye de Lagrasse: 1,000 Years of Human Expression in the Architecture of a
Sacred Site”
Consulate General of France
March 5, 2020

Opposite Photo:
Mara Khodara and
Friederike Moltmann

Photo Credit: Elena Olivo





French Heritage Society (FHS) and The American Friends of L’Abbaye de Lagrasse hosted “Abbaye de Lagrasse: 1,000 Years of Human Expression in the Architecture of a Sacred Site” at the Consulate General of France in New York on Thursday evening. The Abbaye launched its American Friends program, which is part of the FHS Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Their fundraising campaign, Revive Lagrasse Abbey, is an ambitious five-year campaign with a $6.7 million fundraising goal to raise the necessary funds for their restoration projects.

April Gow and John Harvey

FHS Board Chairman Elizabeth Stribling welcomed guests, including Didier Repellin, Architecte en Chef, Inspecteur Général des Monuments Historiques. The event was held in the presence of Eric Bayer, Deputy Consul General of France in New York, and the Très Révérend Père Emmanuel-Marie of Abbé des Chanoines de Lagrasse. “The restoration of our Abbaye de Lagrasse is an extraordinary challenge: to give life to such a monument is a cultural, human and spiritual adventure, unique in France today,” said Père Emmanuel-Marie. Didier Repellin then discussed the ingenuity behind the engineering of the ancient Abbey, specifically the remarkable masonry. A cocktail reception followed.

Guests included FHS Board Members Yann Coatanlem, Gurnee Hart, and his wife, Marjorie, Kazie Metzger Harvey, and her husband, John Harvey, George P. Sape, and his wife, Jeri; New York Chapter Co-Chairman Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt; Paris Chapter Chairman Astrid Stanfield-Pinel; Executive Director Jennifer Herlein, as well as Susan Baker, Baroness Laurie Bodor, Olivier Cassegrain of Longchamp, Michèle Gerber Klein, Friederike Moltmann, Genevieve and Benoit de Rosanvallon, Stephanie Stokes, Stanley Weisman, and Carole Westfall.

Proceeds from this event will fund restoration grants selected by the New York Chapter and The Abbaye de Lagrasse Restoration Campaign.

About Abbaye de Lagrasse
The Abbaye de Lagrasse, located in Languedoc, is above all a remarkable natural site, first settled over 1,000 year ago. The site encompasses “years of human expressions in the architecture of a sacred site." The Abbaye is listed on the National Register due to the splendor of the buildings and the authenticity of the natural site. It is the great osmosis between these elements that has created a place of light and peace, bringing to everyone a timeless spiritual serenity. Even though the site has witnessed many tragic events such as war, disease, revolution…etc., the Abbaye will always survive, due mainly today to an amazing young, radiant community.

About French Heritage Society
French Heritage Society is an American nonprofit organization with 10 chapters in the U.S. and one in France. Its central mission is to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive in order to inspire future generations. Over the past 38 years, FHS has given over 600 restoration grants to properties throughout France and in the U.S. and selected and supported over 500 students from prestigious universities who have crossed the Atlantic for internships at esteemed institutions. Its emergency Notre-Dame Fire Restoration Fund has raised in excess of $2.6 million to date.













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