There is one icon dispersed worldwide and historically associated with higher values: the façade of a columnated building capped by a pediment. This simple vertical, horizontal, and triangular formation runs through the ages and is firmly associated with values and ideas stemming from Europe. It survived centuries of use and abuse, and served revolutions, nation-states, democracies, colonialism, totalitarian regimes, and commercial culture. It even reached the world of computer graphic symbols and still inspires artists. In this paper, I discuss this icon in terms of its diffusion and persistency and comment upon its link to Europe.



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