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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 37

Beneath the Rubble

On the appeal of ancient ruins.
Words by Asher Ross. Photograph by Matthieu Litt.

Humans are usually disgusted by decay. Evolution has taught us to turn up our noses at sunken pears and moldy biscuits. But when it comes to architecture, we can’t get enough of it. People love ruins.

It’s an old love. The cultures most commonly associated with ruins—the Greeks and Romans—were fascinated by the broken remains of still more ancient civilizations. When, in turn, celebration of the Greeks and Romans reached a zenith in the 18th and 19th centuries, the fad became so intense that no European country estate was complete without an imitation ruin—manicured ivy on freshly laid plaster.

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven

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