Notre Dame Cathedral Can Be Seen In Iowa at Matchstick Marvels

GLADBROOK, Iowa-This week the phone has been ringing off the hook at the Matchstick Marvels Museum. After the Notre Dame Fire in Paris, artist Patrick Acton, has been getting calls and emails from people asking if he still has his model of Notre Dame.

The answer is yes, he does. He built this model, from 300,000 match sticks.

I’ve always had a love for architecture and the high cathedrals with the flying buttresses and the beautiful architecture involved, it was always a wish of mine to make a model of Notre Dame,” said Acton, at his Matchstick Marvels Museum here. “I originally looked at building the cathedral back in the 1980s or early 90s, and I couldn’t get enough information to make a scale model of the cathedral.

Once the internet came along, he found plenty of information, and photos to help him plan to construct this model, over seven feet in length.

“The scale model was based on simply the fact they can make it big enough so that I can get plenty of the detail and the architecture to show,” said Acton. “The thing about these high gothic cathedrals is there isn’t a piece of stone it seems like that isn’t carved or has detail and that’s another thing that makes this structure so beautiful.”

The day of the fire, was hard for Acton.

“My stomach flipped in my heart sank, I invested two years of research and I invested two years of my life building this model,” said Acton. “That’s the irony, this one is made out of matchsticks.”

Acton finished this model in 2010, but interest in the work has been way up this week.

“Some people know that the cathedral is here had seen it on the webpage that kind of thing, the phone I just been ringing off the wall here and the number of emails has been phenomenal,” said Acton. “With the burning of the cathedral people, wanting to know is the model still here and so I think we’re gonna be busy for the next few days.”

Matchstick Marvels is now open for the season seven days a week, however it is closed Easter Sunday. For information on admission and hours, check their website here.

Acton said he’s had offers to sell his Notre Dame, but he is committed to retaining ownership and keeping it in Gladbrook.

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