‘Restoration’, Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc

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‘RESTORATION. Both the word and the thing are modern. To restore an edifice is not to maintain it, repair it or remake it, it is to re-establish it in a complete state that perhaps never existed at any time. […] In fact, no civilisation, no people in past times, has sought to carry out restorations as we understand them today. […] Ours is the only age since the beginning of historical times that has taken such an unusual attitude to the past. It has sought to analyse it, compare it, classify it and reconstruct its true history, by following step-by-step the march, the progress, the transformations of humanity. […] Moreover, we know it; our time is not content to glance back in scrutiny: all this retrospective effort serves to develop the problems of the future and facilitate their solution. It is the synthesis that follows analysis.’
Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc


Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, ‘Restauration’, in Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle, Paris, B. Bance, 1866, t.VIII, pp. 14-34.