New Futures for Replicas

Book review: Fake Heritage: Why We Rebuild Monuments, by John Darlington, Yale University Press, 2020, 247 pp, £25.52. By Francesca Piazzoni

Societies have long replicated, imitated, or even invented a past that never existed through built forms. From the copies of Greek temples that became popular across the Roman empire, to the themed residential neighborhoods that continue to transform cities around the world, re-producing a space from another time has helped people to construct a sense

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Replicas in the context of sustainable tourism (by Stuart Jeffrey)

This short post is intended to raise a question rather than to offer specific solutions. It poses a question about the operation of replicas in the context of a world where environmental sustainability is an existential issue and where mass tourism, at least pre-pandemic, is a major contributor to environmental degradation at both the local

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News: new research on historical sources for materials and techniques for coating nineteenth-century plaster casts

As I approached the study of the nineteenth-century plaster casts of the V&A collection, I realised how fragmentary and undetailed is the technical information on the plaster casts manufacturing during the Victorian era, as well as its contemporary review. After spending quite a relevant amount of time reviewing manuals and recipes books, I figured I

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The nature of replication: replicas in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (by Elaine Charwat)

I started working on my AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral project “The nature of replication: Re-contextualising 19th- and early 20th-century replicas at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History – an interdisciplinary and comparative approach” in 2018. My first steps were to review, assess and provenance the models and casts held in the Oxford University Museum of

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Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? (by Paul Graves-Brown)

My involvement in the topic of authenticity was largely provoked by an interest in the history of popular music (see e.g. Graves-Brown 2009). Indeed my first foray in this area, which ultimately evolved into my chapter in our OUP Handbook (Graves-Brown 2013), began as a paper which took its title from the Bonzo Dog Band

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The Future is Tactile (by Abbey L R Ellis)

‘DO NOT TOUCH’: a refrain common to both museums and galleries. But in some cases, touching is the best way of making sense of an object, particularly when that object is a reproduction. This is especially true of plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, of which Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has a fine collection.

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Replicas as a means of creating ‘living’ heritage, interpretation and understanding #HeritageChat (by Rebecca Tabrar, on behalf of Heritage 2020)

Last week (20 August), a Twitter chat organised by Heritage 2020 in partnership with Paul Hibberd of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust, explored replicas as a means of creating ‘living’ heritage, interpretation and understanding. Topics covered included how to define a replica in the context of heritage and how replicas add value

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