Kwanda, Timoticin (2010) Tradition of conservation: redefining authenticity in Javanese architectural conservation. In: Heritage 2010 – International Confrence on Heritage and Sustainable Development, 22-26 June 2010, Evora, Portugal.
The notion of a “Western” conservation paradigm, originating from nineteenth century Eurocentric classical conservation theory, has been propagated and imposed in Asia by UNESCO and ICOMOS. In the 1990’s, the emergence of ‘contemporary’ conservation theory that emphasizes cultural significance and intangible values has shifted the focus from object to subject. However, the theory is still strongly biased towards the ‘tangible’ when discussing authenticity. This is in contrast to the Asian philosophies and values to underpin more contextual, community based, and culturally sensitive approaches towards conservation. The paper discusses the core differences between “Western” and Asian conceptions of conservation, and outlines a new theoretical position. It emphasizes the tradition of conservation in Asia that values the spiritual meaning of material culture as the repository for practices, skills, knowledge, spirituality,and the continuous renewal of perishable materials as opposed to the notion of material authenticity as seen in the Javanese architectural conservation.
Actions (login required)