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André Corboz, 1983 The inhabitants of a land tiressly erase and rewrite the ancient scrawls of the soil. After two centuries during which land management had known no other formula than that of the tabula rasa, a developed concept was designed which no longer considered the land as a quasi-abstract field of operation, but as the result of a very lengthy and very slowstratificationwhich should be understood before acting. But the archaeological concept of stratification does not yet provide the most apropiate metaphor for describing the phenomenon ofacumulation. Mostlayersare both thin and filled withlacunae. In particular, man does not simply add to this layers, he alsoerasesthem. Certain strata were willfully done away with. The land, so heavily charged with traces and with past readings, seems very similar to apalimpsest. To set up new developments, to exploit more rationally certain lands, it is often necessary to modify their substance in an irreversible manner. But the land is not a throw-away wrapper or a consumer product which can be replaced. Every land is unique, whence the need to «recycle», to scrape clean once more (if possible) with the greatest care the ancient text where men have written across the irreplaceable surface of the soil, in order to make it available again so that it meets today’s needs before being done away with in its turn.

palimpsesto urbano versus palimpsesto artístico

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