Renovation and Restoration

During gladiatorial games in the arena, a vast network of man-powered machinery made animals and scenery appear from beneath a wooden floor as if by magic.

Secrets of the Colosseum

A German archaeologist has finally deciphered the Roman amphitheater's amazing underground labyrinth

A cliff-face cavity is all that remains of one of two sixth-century Buddha sculptures, sublime expressions of Bamiyan's ancient kingdom.

Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan

An archaeologist insists a third giant statue lies near the cliffs where the Bamiyan Buddhas, destroyed in 2001, once stood

People of every income level and skin color mix comfortably on Rio's gorgeous beaches like here at Ipanema-Leblon.

Reinventing Rio

The dazzling but tarnished Brazilian city gets a makeover as it prepares for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games

At Villa Adriana, built by the emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., these column surrounded a private retreat ringed by water.

Home Away From Rome

Excavations of villas where Roman emperors escaped the office are giving archaeologists new insights into the imperial way of life

In a letter to the Daguerreian Journal in 1851, Levi Hill claimed to have invented color photography.

A 160-Year-Old Photographic Mystery

In 1851, Levi Hill claimed he invented color photography. Was he a genius or a fraud?

Worry over the exquisite art—including an image of the protector goddess Tara—has fueled photographer Aditya Arya's efforts.

Glimpses of the Lost World of Alchi

Threatened Buddhist art at a 900-year-old monastery high in the Indian Himalayas sheds light on a fabled civilization

If destruction continues unimpeded, preservationists will run out of time to save Kashgar's Uighur quarter.

Demolishing Kashgar's History

A vital stop on China's ancient Silk Road, the Uighur city of Kashgar may lose its old quarter to plans for "progress"

A focal point for visitors today, the gateway sign says "Work Will Set You Free," a monstrous lie told to the men, women and children imprisoned there.

Can Auschwitz Be Saved?

Liberated in 1945, the Nazi concentration camp is one of Eastern Europe's most visited sites—and most fragile

Carved in place from limestone, the Sphinx is among the world's largest statues.

Uncovering Secrets of the Sphinx

After decades of research, American archaeologist Mark Lehner has some answers about the mysteries of the Egyptian colossus

After Xiangmei Gu takes off the backing, she saves the brittle fragments in her record books, which date back two decades and line the shelves in her office.

Restoring Artwork to its Former Glory

With a steady hand, Xiangmei Gu wields paintbrushes and tweezers as the Smithsonian's only conservator of Chinese paintings

Located off Al-Amin Street in the old Jewish Quarter, Beit Farhi is the real power center in Old Damascus.

In Damascus, Restoring Beit Farhi and the City’s Jewish Past

An architect works to restore the grand palace of Raphael Farhi, one of the most powerful men in the Ottoman world

Four hundred years ago, Isfahan was larger than London and more cosmopolitan than Paris.  The city's most famous bridge, Si-o Seh Pol (Bridge of 33 Arches) is nearly 1,000 feet long and 45 feet wide.

Isfahan: Iran's Hidden Jewel

Once the dazzling capital of ancient Persia,Isfahan fell victim to neglect, but a new generation hopes to restore its lost luster

Scaffolding covers the reconstructed golden dome. With help from the U.N. and the Iraqi prime minister's office, workers are rebuilding the sacred Shiite site.

Samarra Rises

In Iraq, the restoration of the shattered Mosque of the Golden Dome brings together Sunnis and Shiites in an unlikely alliance

The basillica and its storied mosaics constitute a matchless and threatened treasure.  Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank calls it a "sacred mountain of a building, vast and elemental."

A Monumental Struggle to Preserve Hagia Sophia

In Istanbul, secularists and fundamentalists clash over restoring the nearly 1,500 year-old structure

Parthenon

The Parthenon’s Old World Order

After a recent restoration, the center of the Athenian Acropolis and symbol of Western democracy still inspires

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Restoration as Vandalism

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Interview with Adam Goodheart, Author of "Back to the Future"

The author talks about what makes the newly renovated Patent Office Building special

The Smithsonian Castle

A Monumental Responsibility

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Renovating Washington's Monument, Designer-Style

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Saving the Nation's Flag

After nearly two centuries of exposure, the Star-Spangled Banner gets a much needed overhaul

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