When shown two identical works of art, and told that one is the original and the other an artist-sanctioned copy, most viewers claim that they prefer the ‘original’, precisely because they imagine that something of the artist’s hand remains. Knowing full well that most everything that is old, yet still exists, has undergone some form of restoration, we are surprised that some philosophers still share viewers’ preference for some original over its sanctioned copy, as if they too believe that something of the artist’s hand remains, even if paint molecules have chipped off or surfaces have been (unbeknownst to them) routinely reworked. As the contributors to this volume of Aesthetic Investigations reiterate, restoration and its multiple variants, which range from preservation (preserving as is) to conservation (preventing further deterioration), is a fact of the matter.
Capdevila-Werning, R., & Spaid, S. (2019). What’s so authentic about restoration? Aesthetic Investigations, 2(2), 119–122. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4073319
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