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APHORISM 31: Restoration, so called, is the worst manner of Destruction. «Neither by the public, nor by those who have the care of public monuments, is the true meaning of the word restoration understood. It means the most total destruction which a building san suffer: a destruction out of which no remnants can be gathered: a destruction accompanies with false description of the thing destroyed (false, also, in the manner of parody, – the most loathsome manner of falsehood). Do not let us deceive ourselves in this important matter; it is impossible, as impossible as to raise the dead, to restore anything that has ever been great or beautiful in architecture. […] that spirit which is given only be the hand and the eye of the workman, can never be recalled. Another spirit may be given by another time, and it is then a new building; […].

There was yet in the old some life, some mysterious suggestion of what it had been, and of what it had lost; some sweetness in the gentle lines which rain and sun had wrought. […] Do not let us talk then restoration. The thing is a Lie from beginning to end. […]. But, it is said, there may come a necessity of restoration! Granted. Look the necessity full in the face, and understand it on its own terms. It is a necessity for destruction. Accept it as such, pull the building down, throw its stones into neglected corners, make ballast of theme, or mortar, if you will; but do it honestly, and do not set up a Lie in their place. […]. The principle of our times […] is to neglect buildings first, and restore them afterwards» (Ruskin, 1904, σ. 353).


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