Classical monuments

The end of the eighteenth century was the moment when the evolving modern conservation principles found their first concrete expression, as has been seen in the previous chapter. A further important incentive for this development was given by the French Revolution, which became a crucial event in modern history. While much attention was given to all types of heritage from the past, particular emphasis was laid on classical style as a leading fashion in the Napoleonic period. Consequently, it was not by chance that a major effort was given to the restoration of ancient Rome as a symbol of the most powerful empire in the past, with which Napoleon desired to associate himself. The same classical monuments were associated with powerful patriotic significance by the pope, who authorized new excavations and the restoration of some of the major monuments in the centre of Rome. A few decades later, with an input from Winckelmann and Romanticism, the ancient Greek monuments were seen as the mark of democracy, and the 'anastylosis' of ancient temples as a symbolic act for the newly established Greek nation.

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