Reconstruction or Ruin: Conserving Destroyed Heritage

Having been linking articles and writing on the subject of virtual reconstruction https://www.biancamadden.com/bamyian-buddhas,  replicas https://www.biancamadden.com/tutankhamun-tomb-reconstruction/, and 3D digital recording https://www.biancamadden.com/digital-archaeology/ on this blog, this recent article from The Art Newspaper by Robert Bevan, author of The Destruction of Memory, seems important to include.  It puts these various elements together and very eloquently debates the issues surrounding reconstruction, authenticity, and the changes in official perception of the values which encompass cultural heritage.  The article also mentions the extremely sensitive conservation/reconstruction project at the Neues Museum in Berlin, which I have also written about here, having worked on the conservation of two of the interiors https://www.biancamadden.com/the-neues-museum-berlin/.

The cover photo for this blog (author’s own) shows not the Berlin Neues Museum project, but the deconstruction of the Berlin Palast der Republik, part of a much more complicated and ethically complex story of destruction and reconstruction.  The Palast der Republik was built in East Berlin in 1970s in the place of the war damaged Baroque seventeenth century Hohenzollern place, the Berliner Stadtschloss, which was demolished in the 1950s.  The Palast der Republik was closed in 1990 just before reunification due to asbestos contamination, but the contaminating elements were removed by 2003 to allow either reconstruction or deconstruction, and the building meanwhile was used as an exhibition space and arts venue.  In 2006 the Bundestag voted not only to remove the Palast in its entirety, but to replace it with a faithful reconstruction of the earlier Stadtschloss.  This reconstruction is currently underway…

Below is the article from the Art Newspaper:

http://theartnewspaper.com/features/ruin-or-rebuild-conserving-heritage-in-an-age-of-terrorism/?utm_source=weekly_jan13_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_weekly&utm_source=The+Art+Newspaper+Newsletters&utm_campaign=754a01f249-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c459f924d0-754a01f249-43498845