"The uniqueness of the work of art is identical to its embedded ness in the context of tradition. Of course, this tradition itself is thoroughly alive and extremely changeable. An ancient statue of Venus, for instance, existed in a traditional context for the Greeks (who made it an object of worship) that was different from
the context in which it existed for medieval clerics (who viewed it as a sinister idol). But what was equally evident to both was its uniqueness-that is, its aura. Originally, the embeddedness of an artwork in the context of tradition found expression
in a cult. As we know, the earliest artworks originated in the service of rituals-first magical, then religious. And it is highly significant that the artwork's auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function. In other words: the unique value of the "authentic" work of art always has its basis in ritual."