Doing the Charleston

Dalrymple writes at the New English Review of a recent conversation with a defender of modern architecture:

One of the things that most struck me about my interlocutor was what one might call his aesthetic pointillism. Each tiny portion of a townscape was for him individual and unrelated to any other. Thus for him it would not be a sacrilege to erect a Dubai-style skyscraper in the middle of Venice on the grounds that it would destroy the aesthetic unity of the city (which, of course, is very far from that of a unity of style of individual buildings). The loss would not be irreparable because the vast majority of the city would remain intact. Needless to say, no heritage could long survive this pointillism: it is aesthetic barbarism.

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