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Perceiving the Past: From Age Value to Pastness
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0557-9651
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Cultural Property, ISSN 0940-7391, E-ISSN 1465-7317, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 497-515Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl (1857–1905), cultural heritage possesses age value (Alterswert) based on the perception of an object’s visible traces of age. His 1903 essay “The Modern Cult of Monuments” became a classic, and age value has ever since been constitutive for cultural heritage. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals that clever copies, reconstructions, and imaginative inventions can possess age value too. I therefore suggest “pastness” as a useful term for denoting the perception that a given object is “of the past.” Pastness is not immanent in an object but, rather, results from its appearance (for example, patina), its context (for example, in a museum), or its correspondence with preconceived expectations among the audience. In this article, I review the concept of pastness and discuss its implications for the global heritage sector. Age value emerges as being less universal than Riegl thought and was linked to a very particular intellectual and cultural context. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2017. Vol. 24, no 4, p. 497-515
Keywords [en]
Alois Riegl, age value, heritage values, Dresden, Planet of the Apes
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69485DOI: 10.1017/S0940739117000236ISI: 000418324900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-69485DiVA, id: diva2:1169319
Available from: 2017-12-23 Created: 2017-12-23 Last updated: 2018-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Holtorf, Cornelius

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • vancouver
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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