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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The untold heritage value and significance of replicas
Author(s): Foster, Sally M
Jones, Siân
Keywords: replication
focussed ethnography
cultural significance
conservation process
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Foster SM & Jones S (2019) The untold heritage value and significance of replicas. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 21 (1), pp. 1-24.
Abstract: This article focuses on the fraught questions surrounding replicas and their use in heritage contexts, drawing on the first in-depth qualitative study of a historic replica, the 1970 concrete St John's Cross, Iona. We examine how replicas 'work' and unravel the part that social relations, place and materiality play in the production and negotiation of authenticity. The research shows that replicas are important objects in their own right, acquiring value, authenticity and aura. The 'life' of a replica generates networks of relationships between people, places and things, including the original historic object, becoming part of its 'composite' biography. While the underlying human stories of creativity, skill and craftsmanship are rendered invisible when replicas are treated as mere surrogates, we argue that these 'life-stories' should be incorporated into future conservation, management and interpretation. The article spells out practical advice and guidance for heritage professionals who find themselves dealing with replicas.
DOI Link: 10.1080/13505033.2019.1588008
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
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