Theorizing patrimoine: reflections on Françoise Choay’s textes instaurateurs


  • Lauren M. O'Connell Ithaca College

Palabras clave:

monument, historic monument, patrimoine, instaurational text


A former student and translator of Françoise Choay’s L’Allégorie du patrimoine reflects on enduring aspects of her thought and its relevance to contemporary debates. Particular attention is paid to Choay’s consistent originality and willingness to challenge received ideas –arguing for Haussmann as a savior, not a destroyer, of Paris, for example; centering the anticipatory character of Viollet-le-Duc’s approach to conservation; and defining a new lexicon, of rules, models, and “instaurational texts” for the analysis of architectural discourse, over time and today. Choay’s attention to language and to rigorous textual analysis are foregrounded, as in her prescient application of Riegl’s monument/historic monument taxonomy to revolutionize our valuation of architectural fabric inherited from the past. The instigational potential of Choay’s patrimonial theorizing is demonstrated with reference to the author’s own research on the conservational history of an emblematic structure in Paris, and on Viollet-le-Duc as a historian of Russian architecture and a precocious theorist of photography. The author emphasizes Choay’s prospective stance, her commitment to patrimoine in its generative capacity to undergird our capacity for building in the present, which she regards as critical for our very cultural survival. 


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Cómo citar

O’Connell, L. M. . (2022). Theorizing patrimoine: reflections on Françoise Choay’s textes instaurateurs. Conversaciones con., (10), 173–185. Recuperado a partir de