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The ethics and aesthetics of ruins are a crucial element in the history of civilisations: it symbolises the presence of the past, but at the same time embodies the potential for future developments. In fact, a ruin is never neutral: caught between nature and culture, suspended between catastrophe and reconstruction, it is immersed in the flow of time while suggesting eternity. In order to give an idea of the historical complexity of the concept, the book which was created and edited by Dimitri Ozerkov will range thematically over centuries, focusing on salient points: from the first mythologies of destruction, the effect of divine wrath (Deucalion and Pyrrha, Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorra, etc.) to the iconoclastic terrorism of Palmyra, while also including ancient Egypt, Greco-Roman antiquity, the instauratio Romae , the ruine du Louvre , and twentieth-century destructions by war and the ruins of the Twin Towers.