^^ People who discuss the fluidity of history are not usually proposing it as a goal or excuse, but as a useful perspective on the consequences of cultural inertia. In the instance above, why does Notre Dame look so 19th century? Because several tons of Victorian features were added in the 19th century, during a time of major upheaval in France surrounding the identity of the state. Make the past look more like the present, make the State seem more solidly grounded and history more linear. Maybe it seems innocuous to you, but to those who study history it is not. There are differing views on such things, so your Buckingham Palace example is fine, and much of medieval Europe was rebuilt to look identical to how it had looked following World War II, but I think the structure that StephenHero posted was an abandoned and somewhat dilapidated complex. The renovation in that case makes it more like a restored statue in a museum, or Masada.
Originally Posted by L.R.
How do you feel of painting old sculptures? We're left with these beautiful ancient sculptures in gray marble... and yet at one time they were painted. Kind of tastelessly. If we could repaint them in the same colors, with the same techniques, would you? It removes from how we've seen them, but is basically the same as repairing the roof on an ancient church.
When someone dies you try to remember the good things about them, and forgive much of the bad. Let's spare them total accuracy: