PROCEEDINGS OF THE

INTERAMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY
IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

ICOMOS ECUADOR
An Approach to Defining Authenticity in Architecture and Urbanism in the Andean Region

In November 1995, 45 specialists from 28 countries linked to ICOMOS met in Nara, Japan, where 33 papers were presented to initiate a debate aimed to establish a base on which to clarify authenticity as a framework in which to evaluate the quality of the architectural elements that make up the world's cultural heritage. This transcendental search of ICOMOS springs from its role as a UNESCO counsel organization to the Intergovernmental World Heritage Committee on matters of a historic and artistic nature; In order to establish principles that will give orientation to that mission, ICOMOS is continually engaged in promoting congresses, symposia and conferences whose recommendation receive world-wide dissemination, to then be articulated and evaluated by various cultural organizations, thus refining and universalizing a unified world policy on conservation of the cultural heritage. The topic of authenticity has been present in the cultural community of Ecuador for some time. In the 1930s important manifestation arose in painting, sculpture, literature and music, all searching for roots. Since 1964, as a result of the II International Congress of Conservation Architects and Technicians, we have had the Venice Charter, which is universally accepted as the basis for identifying and intervening on cultural resources. Its introduction states: Further ahead, its article 9, in referring to RESTORATION, states that,

UNITED STATES NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MONUMENTS AND SITES COMITÉ NATIONAL DES ETATS UNIS DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES MONUMENTS ET DES SITES

PROCEEDINGS OF THE

INTERAMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY
IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

On September 8, 1978, meeting in Washington, the UNESCO Intergovernmental World Heritage Committee issued to the world its first list of world heritage sites, which included the Galapagos Archipelago as a natural site and the City of Quito as a cultural one. The value of Quito was justified by the following text: "Its historic center is the largest, the best preserved and AUTHENTIC, and possesses urban and architectural monuments and artistic and documentary treasures of great universal value, constituting an ensemble whose unified architecture, unified to its landscape, give it exceptional universal value from an artistic, scientific and artistic point of view, and for these reasons, constitutes the best example of Hispanic culture rooted in America during colonial times." It is important to recall that at the same time, the City of Warsaw did not qualify for inscription in the list because a high percentage of the city was RECONSTRUCTED AND THEREFORE IS NO LONGER AUTHENTIC. Therein lie the important antecedents of evaluation based on the application of the concept of authenticity.

INTRODUCTION: Of the Nara papers, and among those written in English, we have reviewed some, and thus we begin by pointing out the definition of authenticity as expressed in one of them and based on a dictionary definition: authenticity is closely linked to the concept of truth, certain, AUTHORIZED, LEGITIMATE, POSITIVE, ASSURED, FAITHFUL; and stands opposed to that which is false, altered, a deceit and the reproduction. It is important to highlight that we must not confuse the authentic with the ancient, the original, the autochthonous and the trustworthy. What is Ancient? That which was executed in remote times What is Original? Two definitions are accepted: 1) that which is done for the first time, being innovative and independent of time, and 2) that which pertains to the first or most ancient period of the object, and intimately linked to the time of its creation. What is Autochthonous?

UNITED STATES NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MONUMENTS AND SITES COMITÉ NATIONAL DES ETATS UNIS DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES MONUMENTS ET DES SITES

PROCEEDINGS OF THE

INTERAMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY
IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

That which is related to its site of origin What is Trustworthy? That which can be credited These four concepts work together to define the notion of authenticity. which in turn, may or may not include them all, but whose meaning may go beyond them. Let us recall that NOTION is the unit of meaning in ideological discourse, while CONCEPT is the equivalent in scientific discourse. Our case is one of ideological discourse, where the notion of authenticity is supported by incontrovertible and recognized concepts. Michael Petzet of ICOMOS Germany, presents the following points that we must consider in this context: 1. Authenticity of form 2. Authenticity of materials 3. Authenticity of technique 4. Authenticity of function, and 5. Authenticity of site and context In this respect, we think it is important to also consider the parameter of time or period, and also the point of view presented by Elias Mujica (ICOMOS Peru) that the application of the notion of authenticity must have a different implication in the case of nations that have had a sustained development of its tradition, as opposed to those that have undergone a strong interruption or modification of them, as in the case of America and its encounter with Europe. In the same way, we also think important the idea presented by Samidi (ICOMOS Indonesia) on

UNITED STATES NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MONUMENTS AND SITES COMITÉ NATIONAL DES ETATS UNIS DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES MONUMENTS ET DES SITES

PROCEEDINGS OF THE

INTERAMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY
IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

the need to harmonize the conservation of tangible heritage with the intangible one, all within the parameters of authenticity. APPROACH If we look at primitive cultures and visualize the concept of SITE, we conclude that the site contains natural factors that have strongly determined and continue to determine similar initiatives on the part of the human being to adapt his/her habitat, independent of tradition, rave and even time. That is, the natural forces strongly mold the forces of primitive cultures. For example, climate is a decisive factor on the natural resources, especially the vegetable ones, on which the human being relies, and these at the same time condition formal, functional and construction types that are in harmony with that climate. In warm and humid climates, palaphytic [elevated on stilts] construction is common, becoming an authentic type for coastal regions. As the climate tends toward cold, the primitive dwelling looses its height and even becomes partly underground. From this point of view, the degree of authenticity of a site with its environment where it is sited will be in direct correspondence with its expression according the five aspects presented by Petzet. As the human being advances in culture, the natural influences of the environment loose strength, and it is then man himself that slowly conditions himself, leading him to become a slave unto himself, something that has provoked the fall of great civilizations. In America, as in other parts of the world, of bahareque [wood, mud and thatch] construction is among the most ancient, and has acquired great development and tradition. Europe was in the midst of the Renaissance when it encountered America, and the authentic European Renaissance presupposed solid architectural work in stone. But in America, bahareque is most prolific, not only because of the easy and abundant vegetation, but also because of its excellent durability and its light and elastic quality so appropriate for absorbing the frequent seismic shocks of the Andes. The indigenous cultures had enormous experience on the subject. The European architectural acculturation [in the Andes] maintained its form and its functions, but in
UNITED STATES NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MONUMENTS AND SITES COMITÉ NATIONAL DES ETATS UNIS DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES MONUMENTS ET DES SITES

PROCEEDINGS OF THE

INTERAMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY
IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

its constructive aspects, it underwent a substantial modification, such as in the bahareque pilasters of the Cathedral of Lima, or the temple of San Agustin in Quito, whose formal Gothic vault is also in bahareque. These are just two paradigms of a much larger manifestation that includes civil architecture. We could offer similar comments on the syncretism in the decorative program of churches. It is well known that in the [Church] Councils of Lima and Quito, it was resolved to accept those indigenous decorations that did not alter Catholic dogma, such as the sun, the moon , the square cross, etc, and the proliferation of mirrors as decorations of altarpieces. It also worth recalling the facades of the Churches of San Franciso and the Society of Jesus: the foirst was gilt in gold to correspond to the sun, while the second one was in silver to correspond to the moon. The eclectic cultural movement has left traces in all areas of western culture. In Andean America, those traces are deeper because it established referential norms and paradigms to all functional building types for the development of the type of life imposed in the colonial perido and later the republican one, reducing creativity to mimetism and adopting those models to our reality. It does not stimulate research nor the development of hypotheses, which are fundamental aspects of scientific and ideological knowledge. There is no innovation, and therefore, no contributions, only the genius and the ability to adapt. This is why eclecticism is considered an example of decadence, The American ethnic and cultural reality from the European contact on underwent a substantial modification to adapt to new alien conditions. Eclecticism did bring to America many innovations such as the Classical, the Romanesque, the Gothic, etc, which in fact, established a pattern of adopting cultural movements from other places, as in now the case with postmodernism. This circumstance, pointed out earlier by Elias Mujica, concretely gives eclecticism in America a pejorative connotation. Thus, eclectic architectural and urban works in Andean America may be judged to have a greater value within the context of authenticity only when they are charged with a significant mestizo content, since this is an essential factor in its real character.
UNITED STATES NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON MONUMENTS AND SITES COMITÉ NATIONAL DES ETATS UNIS DU CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES MONUMENTS ET DES SITES