Rome is one of the world's greatest archaeological sites, preserving many major monuments of the classical past. It is also a city with an important post-Roman history and home to both the papacy and the modern Italian state. Archaeologists have studied the ruins, and popes and politicians have used them for propaganda programs. Developers and preservationists have fought over what should and should not be preserved. This book tells the story of those complex, interacting developments over the past three centuries, from the days of the Grand Tour through the arrival of the fascists, which saw more destruction but also an unprecedented use of the remains for political propaganda. In post-war Rome, urban development predominated over archaeological preservation and much was lost. However, starting in the 1970s, preservationists have fought back, saving much and making the city into Europe's most important case study in historical preservation and historical loss.
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