PROCEEDINGS OF THE

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

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA MARCH, 1996

ICOMOS BOLIVIA
Conceptual Framework to Use the Authenticity Concept Mireya Muñoz, President ICOMOS BOLIVIA

A. Introduction Bolivia has a rich cultural heritage, including archeological, historical, religious and ethnographic sites, as well as vernacular architecture with unique characteristics in, both, the region and the world. By law, the Bolivian State is in charge of the protection of the cultural heritage, even though it has had scarce resources to properly carry out its duty. Nevertheless, during the last decades it has worked with the support of international institutions to carry out various types of restoration, discussed below to illustrate the utilization of the concepts of authenticity and integrity in Bolivia. These concepts, however, have not been easy to understand, manage or use for the various types of restoration work. In Bolivia we need to continue to work intensely so as to structure and agree upon a work agenda aimed at clarifying the authenticity concept for the preservation of our cultural heritage. With the aim of providing a greater objectivity degree to the concept of authenticity, this paper seeks to offer a conceptual framework to identify main principles and obstacles of a universal nature on how to use of the authenticity concept for the preservation of our cultural heritage.

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

B. Analysis of the Authenticity Concept The Authenticity Concept in Relation to its Use or Function The authenticity concept cannot be the same for different types of cultural heritage. In the case of a historical monument with cultural importance due to its role in the regional or national history clearly the authenticity concept should be quite close to the "genuineness" notion, ensuring as much as possible that there will be genuine: (i) materials; (ii) design; (iii) construction and artistic methods; and (iv) setting; as required by the Venice Charter of 1964. In contrast, in the case of a religious monument with cultural importance in the local society upon its original use and function-the authenticity concept ought to incorporate the notion of allowing cultural changes and evolutions that are the result of existing norms and regulations, coherent with the original ones of the monument. This is the case, for instance, of the Jesuit churches of the Bolivian Chiquitanía, which still are of vital importance for the development of the local societies, including its religious, artistic and labor aspects. Clearly, it would be arbitrary that any authority attempt to limit the actual function of the religious monument to that of a museum, especially when the religious function continues to be the monument's raison d'être and the popular will continues to be its use for the monument's original purpose. The Concepts of Authenticity and Conservation in the Long Term In the case of monuments made of durable materials such as stone, the concept of authenticity of material, design, and construction techniques is of paramount importance and has priority over other notions. In contrast, in the case of monuments of wood or other perishable materials, it is necessary to balance the authenticity concept with that of conservation over the long term. This is particularly important in case of a poor country, like Bolivia, where resources for conservation of the cultural heritage are quite scarce. Provided that the "authority" of the monument is not placed at risk, together with its cultural and symbolic importance, it could be justified to introduce some alterations to the materials, design or construction techniques that would result in significant improvements to the structural soundness of the monument. It is
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

well known the need to replace missing parts in religious statues --for instance, Buddhist monuments in Thailand when the missing parts hinder the original religious aim of the monument. On the other hand, it is also necessary to minimize and document the interventions that have an impact on the authenticity. Thus, it is imperative to have precise norms that require: (i) consensus among the restoration experts and the regional community about the use of interventionist practices and methods, case by case; and (ii) precise and detailed documentation on the restoration works, especially in the case of interventionist practices. The documentation is indispensable to allow future generations to fully understand with precision the alterations introduced and their reasons. The Concept of Authenticity in Archeological Sites The conservation of archeological sites requires necessarily the strictest use of the authenticity concept. This, because the archaeological sites contain information and messages of our past that have not been fully deciphered, understood, classified and recorded in a secure manner so as to protect the interests of generations to come. No intervention ought to be allowed that alters the authenticity of the elements in such sites. In these cases, clearly, in doing so there is no danger of imposing foreign values over other population groups. C. Use of the Authenticity Concept in Bolivia To properly deal with this subject it is necessary to address the presentation made by archaeologist Elias Mujica in the Nara Conference, since the concepts discussed by him for the Andean region are also valid for Bolivia. "To lose the authenticity in the archeological sites is to lose an important part of human history forever". The authenticity concept is vital, because it is the only way to preserve scientifically the information needed to reconstruct our history and, thus, our identity. In Bolivia, there are various archaeological sites, where at the start, work was applied without using the authenticity and integrity concepts, per our current understanding. In those days

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 early seventies - the works by Ponce Sanji at Tiahuanacu's Balcony Wall were reasonably and extensively criticized by Gasparini and other foreign experts in several meetings and books. Since then, archaeological restoration works have changed and improved. No more hypothetical reconstructions have been made. Rather, there has been a tendency towards conservationist theory, leaving remains as found without major treatment other than conservation, which opens the possibility for new generations to develop other interpretations. Bolivia, where knowledge of our pre-Hispanic history is based mainly upon archaeological findings, our main duties towards the generations to come is to show them without any alterations in the archaeological sites. On the other hand, we understand the need to be more flexible when we deal with perishable elements, as is the case in "Sukakollos," Tiahuanacu's sophisticated cultural landscape of agricultural and irrigation systems in the Bolivian Altiplano [high plateau], where by no means would it be possible to preserve the original materials. In these cases, it would be possible to work in consonance with the authenticity concepts of the Florence Charter, in reference to historical gardens. The Bolivian government has tried in all cases to utilize professional archaeologists in the various projects that are carried out by several development institutions, so as to ensure that when archaeological vestiges are found they be treated strictly using internationally applied concepts. Historical Monuments In the case of historical monuments, the use of the authenticity and integrity concepts has been different than in the case of archaeological sites. Since 1964, when the Charter of Venice was issued, there has been an effort to use the new international norms, paying respect to the integrity of the monument. This has mainly been the case in the Altiplano area projects under the responsibility of specialized personnel hired by the government. Years later, with the support of German Catholic institutions, work was initiated to restore the Jesuit Missions in the region of the Chiquitanía, where there was concern not only for the integrity of the buildings
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

but also for the reconstruction of each element - mainly wood components - using the original technology of the initial constructions. This work was carried out under the responsibility of foreign architects. For several reasons the experts in the western part of the country (the Altiplano area) were not made aware of this work in a timely manner. Thus, there have been two tendencies in Bolivia, both valid under the regions' different circumstances and the nature of the sites. In the specific case of the Jesuit Missions in the Chiquitanía, the two main concepts used have been: (i) to ensure conservation in the long term; and (ii) to rescue the original construction technology used by the early inhabitants of the region, where the population is the direct descendant of those Indians taught by the Jesuits before 1767, when the religious order was expelled from the Spanish colonies. There has also been an effort to teach the rediscovered technologies of the colonial times. Each of the temples has been rebuilt; they were quite along in their deterioration, given the characteristics of the climate in the region and the perishable nature of the materials used. The new renovations have been carried out by the descendants of the Indians, once again directly taught by the Jesuits on how to use the original technologies. In Chiquitos, several techniques have been utilized, depending on the state of preservation in each case. Personnel has been trained in the original techniques, research has been carried out on the techniques and, when needed, innovations have been implemented. Sites declared World Heritage In Bolivia, the three sites inscribed in the World Heritage List (Sucre, Potosí and the Jesuit Missions) all belong to the colonial era. The restoration carried out in the three sites have used different authenticity concepts. In the three cases, the inscription has had an important positive benefit for the economy and, most especially, on the regional sense of pride. Currently, there is a clear conscience about the need to preserve and conserve the regional cultural heritage within the new authenticity and

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

integrity concepts. But, what does authenticity mean for the people of the region? Are the restoration experts, in consensus with the government authorities the ones who ought to develop the guidelines? To answer and clarify these questions it is necessary to work hard and further on the authenticity and integrity concepts. Only that way will we be able to ensure an adequate maintenance in the future. D. Conclusions and Recommendations Relativity of the Authenticity Concept In Bolivia, in the case of archaeological sites, since 1980 there has been a tendency to utilize the new conservationist authenticity concepts. In the case of historical monuments, however, there is flexibility when it is deemed that the most important consideration is the conservation of the monument in the long term or the recovery of original technologies, rather than the authenticity of the materials which, because of their perishable nature cannot be the original materials. Need of Norms on the Use of the Authenticity Concept Until today, work across Latin America has been carried out without the use of the same authenticity concept. The establishment of norms, at least for the Andean region, is a paramount need that ought to be the result of an international meeting, such as this one in San Antonio. We have mentioned that the concept of authenticity is relative; that it can be used one way or the other. We consider, however, that it is urgent that at least within the Andean region, where the cultural heritage is so similar, an agreement be reached as soon as possible on the use of the authenticity concept, but with previous consensus among restoration experts and government officials. Role of the International Organizations -- UNESCO and ICOMOS
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

We reiterate the proposal made by the representative of Peru during the lOth General Assembly of ICOMOS in Sri Lanka, regarding the need for regional experts to be put in charge of carrying out the monitoring missions on Sites inscribed in the World Heritage List. Finally, we believe that ICOMOS should be the entity in charge of monitoring the sites, so as to ensure the necessary continuity in their preservation. We support the idea that ICOMOS National Committees can play a fundamental role in carrying out the monitoring missions. Those committees, in coordination with UNESCO, the World Heritage Center and other international institutions, ought to be in charge of protection through the proper use of the authenticity and integrity concepts.

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

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