‘ Old music, re-framed or brought into new circulation, can be as dynamic and unpredictable as new music. Its work is not done by the end of its own epoch. This was always so, but once, only a small number of people truly knew it; scholars, mostly, who understand that the past evolves by our understanding of its context. People like Mary Beard, the Cambridge professor of ancient Greek and Latin languages and history, who wrote in a 2012 essay that “the study of the Classics is the study of what happens in the gap between antiquity and ourselves.” ‘
[‘Within The Context Of All Contexts: The Rewiring Of Our Relationship To Music’, by Ben Ratliff Music News From NPR .]
The same may be said of other sorts of artifacts from before. An old building, maintained and put to a currently valid use, helps those inhabiting it appreciate the mores and tastes of past era(s). Without the building itself, discussion of day-to-day living thereabouts in times gone by lacks tangibility and context. The greatest of arguments for the conservation of human inventiveness is perhaps that criteria for valuing what was evolve over time, and destruction deprives the yet-to-be-born of an understanding of past creativity that enriches their perspective. We can expect that future generations will value old artifacts in different ways than we do.