The Broken Column House

Amongst the myriad of weird houses from around the world, here's a true gem: the Broken Column House created by aristocrat François Nicolas Henri Racine de Monville before the French Revolution.

Yes - the house was designed to look like an abandoned ruin, complete with fake cracks on the walls!

Unfortunately, the house and surrounding garden were actually abandoned (for real). A restoration program was initiated in the 1980s and continue until today, which brings up an interesting question:

How does one return an artificial ruin, which became a true ruin, back to its original artificiality, a condition which aspired to be what it had become?

How does one restore decay from a state of real decay?

Here one imagines the restorers waking up in the middle of the night, screaming and drenched with sweat, unwilling to return to sleep for fear of dreaming recursively the horrors of authenticity. “Is this a fake crack? A real crack? Fake? Real? Fake? Real?"


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