This essay introduces part of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debate regarding the demolition of nonclassical monuments from the Acropolis and explores the interrelations between such practices of social reconstruction of the past and the nineteenth-century transformation of the contest between the ancients and the moderns. The essay suggests that the demolition of what became known as the Frankish Tower by the Propylaea of the Acropolis of Athens concealed a false contest between post-Enlightenment modernity and Greek antiquity. Focusing on celebrations and critiques of the purist approach to the past during this period, the essay ultimately highlights critical reactions to metropolitan modernity’s disdain for the old as opposed to an idealized image of the classical.


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pp. 73-103
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