Since 1959 the Italian publishing firm VISION has been applying a patented system which consists of printing on transparent material the image of the reconstruction of the ruins of an ancient monument or of an archaeological area, in such a way as to overlay this reconstruction on a photograph of the same subject in its present state. The overlaid reconstruction allows the reader to see, through the uncoloured parts of the transparent sheet on which it is printed, the underlying photograph of the existing ruins, integrating and completing them with the missing elements. This system is the only one which can give a simple and clear vision of a monument as it was before its destruction and as it is now, since it allows for an immediate and direct comparison between “Past and Present”.
The VISION publications, which have been translated into several languages, have met considerable success in Italy and in several foreign countries due to their being considered, in the educational fields as well as from the general point of view of cultural knowledge, as indispensable for the promotion and understanding of archaeological sites and areas where great civilizations now foregone, were born and developed. In view of implementing its programs with the best scientific competence possible, VISION has grouped among its collaborators a number of highly qualified archaeologists who, besides being author of the texts, supply all of the necessary data for the draftsmen and photographers who carry out the reconstructions. The VISION “Past & Present” series of publications presently concern the most visited archaeological sites in Italy as Rome, Hadrian’s Villa, Ancient Ostia (the ancient port of Rome), Pompeii and Herculaneum, Paestum, the Roman Catacombs and the Vatican Necropolis and Sicily; in Greece as Athens, Delphi, the Peloponnesus (Olympia, Mycenae, Epidauros, Corinth), Crete; in Israel, in Jordan as Petra, Jerash and Amman; in Lebanon.