Fake originals or authentic replicas? Authenticity and conservation practices of historic vehicles

Abstract

The concept of authenticity has been challenged by several authors when applied to cultural heritage. However, little thinking has been devoted to the impact that the shifting concept of authenticity has on conservation practices of mobile heritage (e.g. vintage cars, historic trains, ships, aeroplanes, motorcycles). The topic is explored here through some case studies from Italy and the UK, and will be introduced by a brief summary of the concepts of authenticity and replicas. The paper will highlight a different understanding of the concept of authenticity by collectors and museums, leading to different approaches to conservation practices. The author underlines the difference between “originality” and “authenticity” and suggests that “authenticity” is tied to the perception and experience of cultural heritage, while “originality” is related to the fabric. Even though there is merit in all the different approaches to conservation, conversations on this subject are needed to ensure a streamlining of concepts and vocabulary applied by the different stakeholders.

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Benetti F. (2022) "Fake originals or authentic replicas? Authenticity and conservation practices of historic vehicles " Authenticity Studies. International Journal of Archaeology and Art, 1(1), 130-142. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-AS-2022-1-10  
Year of Publication
2022
Journal
Authenticity Studies. International Journal of Archaeology and Art
Volume
1
Issue Number
1
Start Page
130
Last Page
142
Date Published
03/2022
ISSN Number
under-registration
Serial Article Number
10
DOI
10.14658/PUPJ-AS-2022-1-10
Issue
Section
Essays