Visual identity preserved
The windmill remained in operation until 1965, when an electric pumping station was built. Unused, the windmill was abandoned. In 1973, while rust was gnawing the metal structure, the City Council voted to dismantle the windmill.
In the village, the decision was not unanimous. A resistance organized around Hélène Kaldonski, a contemporary art artist who cannot resolve to no longer see what has become the symbol of her native village over the years. In 1975, she founded the Association pour la Restauration de l’Éolien de La Postolle (AREL) and raised 20,000 francs to restore the monument’s former chandelier. The operation was a success and contributed to the inclusion of the windmill in the Register of Historical Monuments in 1976. The six tons installation was thus preserved from the disassembly, like 246 Bollée windmills out of the 350 which were erected in France from 1870 to 1933.
After a second restoration in 1992, the windmill which was highly exposed to external attack because of its location and scale, required a new rejuvenation in 2019. The territory mobilized once again to save its iron lady: donations and grants allow the municipal assembly to undertake this third restoration.
At each restoration, the windmill is disassembled, sent to workshops to be inspected, repaired, and reassembled in the same way on its original location. His absence in the sky of La Postolle was a heartbreak for the villagers. So the return of the metal structure was celebrated with relief. Inaugurated in 2022, the last rehabilitation offers residents and tourists the testimony of a time when progress combined utility and elegance in an artistic movement. In addition to La Postolle, this magnificent piece of art can also be admired in Champlay, Saint-Aubin-sur-Yonne, Vaudeurs and Sens which are the last Yonne municipalities that have saved their Bollée windmill on the original 25 which were erected in the department.