"The only authentic state of the object is tautologically the one that it has now" (1)

"...for an object to be experienced or considered as authentic, then it must be marked as authentic" (2)

"Jones and Yarrow argue that authenticity is a cultural construct that emerges through the interaction between the item of cultural heritage and the viewer, dependent also on context (Jones 2010; Jones and Yarrow 2013), thus fixing authenticity as a subjective concept. Such a perception-led definition opens the door to multiple possible perceptions of materiality, shaped by personal social and cultural experiences. Malkogeorgou notes that the relationship between the object and the observer is never static, and it is this movement that implies the subjective aspect (Malkogeorgou 2002). Scott presents authenticity as having three foundations in material, historical and conceptual aspects that must be considered together to avoid fragmentation of meaning (Scott 2015). Scott examines both objective and subjective authenticity." (3)

"Once linked to the viewer, authenticity represents their perceptions rather than a self-contained quality of the object as itself. Like the creation of value, authenticity is non-linear much as value is non-homogenous (Taylor and Cassar 2008) and so an object’s identity and authenticity evolve through time (Castriota 2019)" (3)

(1) Muñoz-Viñas, S. 2002. “Contemporary Theory of Conservation.” Studies in Conservation 47: 25–34.
(2) Scott, D. 2015. “Conservation and Authenticity: Interactions and Enquiries.” Studies in Conservation 60: 291–305.
(3) Eleanor Sweetnam and Jane Henderson, “Disruptive Conservation: Challenging Conservation Orthodoxy,” Studies in Conservation 67, no. 1–2 (February 17, 2022): 63–71.

Authenticity and Objects