In Designs of Destruction: The Making of Monuments in the Twentieth Century, Lucia Allais delves into the four tumultuous decades that preceded the signing of the World Heritage Convention in 1972. She uncovers the work of the many agents—from bureaucrats and intellectuals to lawyers and architects—who mobilized to engineer the survival of architectural monuments, setting the foundations for “the remarkable return of the monument to the world stage” (2). Allais explores how the opportunity to act architecturally was recognized and integrated into global governance during this period, when “state-sponsored and/or internationally-sanctioned techniques and practices of construction and destruction … fueled monuments' survival” (8). She situates these techniques...

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