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Title: Time and authenticity
Authors: Martín-Hernández, Manuel J.
UNESCO Clasification: 6201 Arquitectura
Issue Date: 2014
Journal: Future Anterior 
Abstract: This essay reexamines the history of the preservation discourse that linked a monument's authenticity to the conservation of its patina. It puts this discourse in a broader intellectual context in order to show it to be related to changes in the Western cultural understanding of time, which were partially brought about by Henri Bergson's notion of duration. The idea that the nature of objects was to be in a state of perpetual change put into crisis the practice of restoring buildings to a past frozen moment in time and gave rise to the conservation of monuments in their “as found” condition. Important European preservation theorists such as Cesare Brandi, Paolo Torsello, Piero Sanpaolesi, and Paul Philippot debated how to express aesthetically the idea that monuments constantly change over time, despite being under a strict conservation regime. Their answers relied on the cleaning of surfaces and the limit of what was considered acceptable visual change. Their collective discourse theorized the patina as a discursive surface where preservationists were called on to express architecture's existence in time.
ISSN: 1549-9715
DOI: 10.5749/futuante.11.2.0041
Source: Future Anterior [ISSN 1549-9715], v. 11 (2), p. 40-47, (Enero 2014)
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