Lecture 8. Values: Competing Perspectives

The lecture focuses on the different forms, types and value criteria when discussing heritage and preservation. Is “value” rooted in the architectural object or in the quality of the relationships enabled by the object? Or is “value” first and foremost an economic asset that needs to be judged in terms of the amount of revenue that a particular heritage is able to generate? Since heritage is a heterogeneous concept, it is not surprising that the notion of value in heritage preservation oscillates between these different positions. The lecture discusses these different and competing perspectives in three parts: The first part presents the celebrated restoration of New Museum in Berlin, recapitulating the classical debates on preservation and restoration in the 19th and early 20th century. The second part focuses on Venice and addresses the tension between the aesthetic and economic value of heritage. The third part looks at China and hints at the cultural specificity of notions of value.

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