Fake Heritage Why We Rebuild Monuments John Darlington

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
13 Oct 2020
ISBN:
9780300246766
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
248 pages: 229 x 152mm
Illustrations:
160 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World

The first survey of the many redesigned and imitation historical landmarks and objects that dot the globe

“John Darlington shows . . . it is not just written history that is malleable; it is also history on the ground, heritage in brick and stone, wood and metal.”—Simon Jenkins, Times Literary Supplement

What happens when the past—or, more specifically, a piece of cultural heritage—is fabricated? From 50 replica Eiffel Towers located around the world to Saddam Hussein’s reconstructions of ancient cities, examples of forged heritage are widespread. Some are easy to dismiss as blatant frauds (the Piltdown Man), while others adhere to honest copying or respectful homage (the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee). This compelling book examines copies of historic buildings, faux archaeological sites, and other false artifacts, using them to explore the ethics and consequences of reconstructing the past; it also tackles the issues involved with faithful, “above-board” re-creations of ancient landmarks.
 
John Darlington probes questions of historical authenticity, seeking the lessons that lurk when history is twisted to tell an untrue story. Amplified by stunning images, the narrative underscores how the issue of duplicating heritage is both intriguing and incredibly complex, especially in the twenty-first century—as communication and technology flourish, so too do our opportunities to be deceived.

More about this title


John Darlington is executive director of World Monuments Fund Britain.

Darlington is a well-travelled, polymathic archaeologist [and] a man of great energy and enthusiasms...who generously shows off his knowledge.”—Jonathan Meades, Literary Review


“[F]ull of comparably entertaining case studies — tales of human and architectural folly...It also warns the reader that little of the man-made world is left untouched by the curation, or falsification, of historical appearance.”—John Maier, Spectator


“[Darlington] concludes that whether fakery is good or bad is often nuanced, but that it’s important to “look closer, be curious, challenge” what’s in front of us to understand better what we’re being presented with. He’s right and this enjoyable book offers a good way to learn how to do that.”—Martin Bentham, Evening Standard


“As John Darlington shows in Fake Heritage, it is not just written history that is malleable; it is also history on the ground, heritage in brick and stone, wood and metal.”—Simon Jenkins, Times Literary Supplement