DIO SALVI IL RESTAURO. L’apporto inglese alla cultura della conservazione dei monumenti

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Abstract

Although we were already able to perceive how fundamental the English contribution was in defining the most current and shared concept of Restoration, there has been no clear overview of the complex events relating to the affirmation of conservative principles and a more in-depth knowledge of the documentary sources until now, necessary to analyse the cultural profiles of the protagonists accenting their theoretical contributions.The historical reconstruction of the events was developed over the course of three centuries, from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th, mostly based on the translation and study of texts never circulated in Italy, such as the fundamental document entitled ‘Papers on the Conservation of Ancient Monuments and Remains’ (1865).The adopted method in organizing the research results was marked by the desire to know the sources in depth, structuring the text through them, always in relation to the overall view and a chronologically ordered path.In the late seventeenth-century England the first conservationist tendencies were felt, and the attitudes that gradually led to a more mature concept of restoration were revealed by Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and John Vanbrugh during the 18th century. The philosophical concept of ‘authenticity’ emerged on the British cultural scene and a deep interest in getting to know and preserve the prehistoric site of Stonehenge increased.John Ruskin is universally considered the main representative of the reaction against the destructive treatment of ancient buildings, but the centrality of other contributions, so far less explored and remained in the background, by Welby Pugin, Gilbert Scott, and John James Stevenson, both emerged in the development of the restoration theory and attitude towards conservative redirection of practice in the restoration site (particularly by Scott).William Morris was positively affected by Ruskin’s influence, though his attitude was also marked by social and political issues. He fought to extend the concept of safeguarding to all historical heritage through the S.P.A.B. Society for the Protection of Ancient Building. The international campaign to defend St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice was launched in 1879, unequivocally affirming the principle of the universal value of historical and artistic testimonies, intended as a cultural heritage of hu-manity to be transmitted to the future.Thanks to the legitimate protests received from the United Kingdom, the young Italian State began a self-critical process in restoration matter and attempted to correct the serious organizational dysfunctions through the first legislative initiatives for the protection of monuments. Francesco Bongioannini and Giuseppe Fiorelli (head of the Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti of the Ministry of Public Education) were the key figures of these important innovations.The same awareness also emerged in the United Kingdom, and the first government measures to defend the nation’s architectural and environmental heritage were enacted between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The National Trust (also born from a vision of John Ruskin) added to the numerous associations already operating in the protection sector.The research remains open to further acquisitions, but the less blurry portraits and the sharper cultural profiles of the numerous protagonists and interpreters of the restoration in the United Kingdom (such as those of Wren, Pugin, Scott and Stevenson) can already be perceived, reconfirming the precious contribution off
Lingua originaleItalian
EditorePalermo University Press
Numero di pagine384
ISBN (stampa)978-88-5509-128-2; 978-88-5509-129-9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

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