In Support of Stylistic Reconstructions: Some Thoughts on Authenticity and Justice

Piazzoni, Maria Francesca (2018) In Support of Stylistic Reconstructions: Some Thoughts on Authenticity and Justice. Reconstruction: an ICOMOS Integrating e-journal . pp. 1-14. [Article]

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Abstract (in English)

Human and natural disasters destroy historic urban fabrics worldwide. How can planners and architects remediate the loss of heritage? I suggest that rebuilding damaged sites through stylistic reconstructions can promote individual and collective healings. Reconstructions provide a tangible canvas that allows individuals to rebuild their lives by reestablishing the visual wholeness and spatial consistency of the destroyed heritage. Two sets of critiques challenge my proposal. The first argues that reconstructions can only produce fake heritage because the authenticity of originals cannot be reproduced. The second concerns with the social needs of those who lost their heritage. One might argue that rebuilding does not allow “non-experts” to participate in the production of space and that reconstructions thus deny individuals their right to the city. I respond to these critiques through two considerations. First, I contend that the concerns about the authenticity of reconstructions hinge on speculative premises. As scholars have proved, both themed settings and heritage sites become authentic through everyday uses and significations. Secondly, I argue that rebuilt heritage might favour the social production of space that underlies the right to the city. Reconstructions could facilitate resignifications and appropriations by both restoring the visual integrity of destroyed sites and providing a spatial layout.

Item Type: Article
Piazzoni, Maria FrancescaUNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: reconstruction; theory of conservation; theory of restoration; interpretation; collective memory; post-disaster situation; post-trauma situation; destruction of cultural heritage; historic towns; urban areas; resilience; authenticiy; debates; Social aspects; Cultural significance; Values; Rights
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 09. Philosophy of conservation
A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 12. Theory of conservation
A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 12. Theory of restoration
D.URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 02. Theory and doctrinal texts
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 12. Historic towns and villages
National Committee: ICOMOS
Depositing User: Mrs Lucile Smirnov
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 15:47
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2018 15:47
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