Protection of Originals

In the 18th Century, antique Roman culture penetrated throughout Europe. All those more or less accomplished marble copies of statues, and all the numerous prints, of which Piranesi's "Vedute di Roma" were the most successful, served as substitutes for the "grand tour" of actually visiting the classical sites.

As substitutes they protected the originals, though the effect was not unambiguous. The replicas could eventually also make people want to see the real thing, becoming preparations for a real tour, or, in terms of economics, complements rather than substitutes for it. Literary work too, such as Goethe's "Mignon" or Mme de Stael's "Corinne", served to invoke a passion for the meridional.

More specific in purpose were all the "Baedeckers" of those days, travel diaries by mostly famous authors: Brosses (1739), "Voyage enItalie", Goethe (1786), "Italienische Reise", Stendhal (1827), "Promenades dans Rome", Taine (1864), "Voyage en Italie".

In the days of the grand tours of the wealthy the practical consequences, however, were negligible, in sharp contrast to those of mass tourism today.

To the extent that the artistic ideas have to be physically embodied, crowding around the originals is impossible to avoid. This is relevant in particular in the case of historical monuments. Embodied cultural commodities become similar to exhaustible natural resources, and special measures have to be taken to preserve them from being actually exhausted by consumption.

The unregulated market does not pay any attention to the ideas of Bruges or Venice, embodied in the physical cities, which can be literally worn down by unregulated consumption in tourism.

In addition to physical deterioration, a historical town can also be economically damaged by tourism, through increasing living costs, and through diversion of the economic activities from what is useful for the permanent inhabitants, as demonstrated by the research of Gianfranco Mossetto.

Venice is a particularly good example, where butcher's and baker's shops have literally been replaced by shops for glass and jewellery. As a consequence we notice such drastic decrease to about half of the permanent population, as was in fact witnessed the last decades, almost closing the city down between tourist seasons.

Despite this Venice is in a unique and favourable position due to its location in the middle of its lagoon. Not only did this protect the city against foreign invasions for many centuries, until it was finally conquered by Na-

Fig. 2.6: Hotel de Saint Aignan in the Marais district in Paris, built as residence for the Duke of Saint Aignan, currently the site for the archives of the city of Paris. On the left in a state of unrecognisable destitution, on the right as restored to its previous splendour. In the time of Richelieu the Marais (literally the swamp), located around the Place des Vosges was the part of town where the nobility had built its city palaces, and the Place de Vosges itself had been the obvious location for splendid Royal festivities, as illustrated in contemporary engravings. In the 19th Century the whole area became a slum, the palaces being rebuilt so that they were no longer recognizable for anybody but the experts. In the 1970's a large scale reconstruction of the whole area took place, and it can now be seen in its former splendour Of course, as always in such cases, the original inhabitants could no longer afford to stay in the area.

Fig. 2.6: Hotel de Saint Aignan in the Marais district in Paris, built as residence for the Duke of Saint Aignan, currently the site for the archives of the city of Paris. On the left in a state of unrecognisable destitution, on the right as restored to its previous splendour. In the time of Richelieu the Marais (literally the swamp), located around the Place des Vosges was the part of town where the nobility had built its city palaces, and the Place de Vosges itself had been the obvious location for splendid Royal festivities, as illustrated in contemporary engravings. In the 19th Century the whole area became a slum, the palaces being rebuilt so that they were no longer recognizable for anybody but the experts. In the 1970's a large scale reconstruction of the whole area took place, and it can now be seen in its former splendour Of course, as always in such cases, the original inhabitants could no longer afford to stay in the area.

poleon. Still today its unique dual transportation system, by winding canals, and by narrow corridors for walking, interrupted every few steps by bridges, make it totally impossible for adaptation to any modern transportation system. Like no other city it is therefore effectively protected from cars.

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