The Ministry of Tourism commissioned Edoardo Tresoldi in 2016 to restore the Basilica of Siponto (Puglia, Italy), of which only ruins remain. The project is obtained through metal wefts that intertwine in the air presumably reconstructing the original environments: it is an example of creative restoration. This essay aims to examine the genesis of this artwork that has rekindled the debate on the usefulness of this type of restoration, introduced for the first time by Cesare Brandi (1906-1988) and Renato Bonelli (1911-2004) who gave rise to a critical discussion on the role that restoration must play in reconstructing the original spaces of a lost monument. Creative restoration tends to include in the concept of “restoration” all those actions of reconstruction necessary to restore “truth” to the lost monument in order to guarantee its enjoyment, making the “evocative fantasy” take over. Faced with an architecture that has now lost its face, the added value of Tresoldi’s creative restoration will be highlighted, which is not only the reconstruction of the Basilica but the possibility, through the wire mesh that generates transparency, to understand the monument not only as a historical document but as an artwork that needs to be experienced aesthetically, safeguarding the genius loci, making the site a place to be rediscovered in its link with the territory.
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