Monday, February 10, 2014

What you see is not what you think you see

The untouched remains of the Roman empire, at its civic and commercial core, the Forum Romanum?

Or an urban renewal zone, which removed 1500 years of human settlement in order to feed a longing for a mythical Roman past?

Sacred ground for classicists?  Or crime scene for medievalists?

An archaeological site preserved without political overtones, or a fascist era site remade (including the wide avenue cut right through the site in the 1930s, to link Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum)?

The place I remember so vividly walking into on a misty morning in 1984 (who knows if it was misty -- it is in my memory!), and imagining I was walking back in time and could recreate, with my trusty Blue Guide, ancient Rome, is far more complicated than that.  Thank goodness. Or, alas.

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