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New Book on Architectural Heritage Conservation

15. Aug. 2016

The book “Authenticity in Architectural Heritage Conservation” is a new book co-edited by Prof. Niels Gutschow and Dr. Katharina Weiler. It is part of the Cluster’s book series "Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context".

The book contributes to a recontextualization of authenticity by investigating how this value is created, reenacted, and assigned. Over the course of the last century, authenticity figured as the major parameter for the evaluation of cultural heritage. It was adopted in local and international charters and guidelines on architectural conservation in Europe, South and East Asia. Throughout this period, the concept of authenticity was constantly redefined and transformed to suit new cultural contexts and local concerns.

This volume presents colonial and postcolonial discourses, opinions, and experiences in the field of architectural heritage conservation and the use of site-specific practices based on representative case studies presented by art historians, architects, anthropologists, and conservationists from Germany, Nepal, India, China, and Japan. With more than 180 illustrations and a collection of terminologies in various languages, these cross-cultural investigations document the processual re-configuration of the notion of authenticity. They also show that approaches to authenticity can be specified with key analytical categories from transcultural studies: appropriation, transformation, and, in some cases, refusal.

This publication is part of the Cluster’s book series "Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context". The series presents peer-reviewed books by members of the Cluster as well as scholars from both historical and empirical disciplines who are working on new emerging fields that cross existing disciplinary boundaries.

Prof. Niels Gutschow is honorary professor at Heidelberg University's Department of Indology. At the Cluster, he coordinated the research project D4 "Aspects of Authenticity in Architectural Heritage Conservation".

Dr. Katharina Weiler is Provenance Researcher working in Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt. She was Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cluster in Project D4.



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