Reconstruction over ruins : rebuilding Dresden's Frauenkirche

Joel, Tony 2012, Reconstruction over ruins : rebuilding Dresden's Frauenkirche. In Gegner, Martin and Ziino, Bart (ed), The heritage of war, Routledge, Abingdon, England, pp.197-218.

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Title Reconstruction over ruins : rebuilding Dresden's Frauenkirche
Author(s) Joel, TonyORCID iD for Joel, Tony
Title of book The heritage of war
Editor(s) Gegner, Martin
Ziino, BartORCID iD for Ziino, Bart
Publication date 2012
Series Key issues in cultural heritage
Chapter number 10
Total chapters 12
Start page 197
End page 218
Total pages 22
Publisher Routledge
Place of Publication Abingdon, England
Keyword(s) history
cultural heritage
memory studies
war and society
Summary The debate over the reconstruction of Dresden’s Frauenkirche, the city’s landmark Protestant cathedral destroyed by aerial bombing in 1945, exemplifies the conflicts inherent in the treatment of war-related cultural heritage. Although initially preserved only by virtue of some local citizens’ determination to rebuild the church, in time the Frauenkirche ruins emerged in their own right as an arresting antiwar symbol and one of the foremost sites of war memory and commemoration in the divided Germany. This development created a certain conundrum, for if the church ever were to be rebuilt such a project could only materialise by disturbing the ruins, which supporters claimed were deserving of preservation in their unaltered state. With the advent of reunification, the kind of heritage to be preserved at the site—and the way in which it was to be conserved—came under renewed and reintensified scrutiny and debate. By tracing the shifting dynamics during a half-century of debate over how the Frauenkirche site should be conserved, this chapter examines the impact that struggles over war memory and commemoration can have on cultural heritage. It surveys the arguments for and against rebuilding the Frauenkirche before, during, and after reunification, and considers what aspirations conflicting sides had for expressing personal, national, and international memories of war, loss, and the German national past. Finally, it explores how anastylosis rebuilding principles were used to find a compromise by incorporating, somewhat controversially, parts of the existing ruins into the new church after a local citizens’ initiative successfully appealed for worldwide support to reconstruct the Frauenkirche in the wake of Germany’s reunification.
ISBN 041559328X
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation
210307 European History (excl British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Socio Economic Objective 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor & Francis
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Created: Tue, 27 Nov 2012, 13:55:01 EST by Tony Joel

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