The future of the past: a history book you can walk through
Toorn Vrijthoff, W. van der.
Historic districts -- Conservation and restoration Cultural property -- Protection Urban renewal Ιστορικές περιοχές -- Συντήρηση και αποκατάσταση Πολιτιστική κληρονομιά -- Προστασία Αστική ανάπλαση
The historic inner city: A collection of pieces of art from different periods;A collection preserved in different ways based on different opinions regarding authenticity;A collection mixed with lots of traces of renewal;A collection framed in a modified morphological structure;A random selection of history fragments;A piece of art, many times molested and patched up, making the search for theoriginal to an explorative expedition;Or? A highly interesting reflection of long term historic developments, a history book you can walk through with nothing else then the original. The actual historic inner city is a projection of creations and modifications over a long period of time. A history book that has a time scope longer than any other urban area that is part of the city that has its origin in the historic core.The historic inner city is modified by time. It is not possible to go back to the original. It is only possible to restore a fragment, which can be a single building, and make it look like the way it was at the beginning of its life cycle. It is also possible to replace a fragment by another fragment, a presentation of the present or a copy of a fragment rooted further back in the past.The interpretation of the actual situation is very much dependent on the concept of cultural heritage in relation with the concept of authenticity. In this paper both concepts are first discussed seperately, related to dominant opinions in the literature. After that the interaction between the concepts within the context of the historic inner city is looked upon. The paper ends up with the possible consequences for the balance between renewal and preservation of the components of the historic inner city of Europe.
Includes bibliographical references
Paper presented at Seventh International Conference on Urban History: European City in Comparative Perspective, Panteion University, Athens - Piraeus, Greece, 27-30 October 2004, Session: Historians' values in urban preservation in the 20th Century