Replica

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A replica is an exact reproduction, such as of a painting, as it was executed by the original artist or a copy or reproduction, especially one on a scale smaller than the original.[1][2]

A replica is a copying closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. Replicas and reproductions can be related to any form of licensing an image for others to use, whether it is through photos, postcards, prints, miniature or full size copies they represent a resemblance of the original object.

"Not all incorrectly attributed items are intentional forgeries. In the same way that a museum shop might sell a print of a painting or a replica of a vase, copies of statues, paintings, and other precious artefacts have been popular through the ages.[3]

However, replicas have often been used illegally for forgery and counterfeits, especially of money and coins, but also commercial merchandise such as designer label clothing, luxury bags and accessories, and luxury watches. In arts or collectible automobiles, the term "replica" is used for discussing the non-original recreation, sometimes hiding its real identity.[citation needed]

Because of gun ownership restrictions in some locales, gun collectors create non-functional legal replicas of illegal firearms. Such replicas are also preferred to real firearms when used as a prop in a film or stage performance, generally for safety reasons.

A prop replica is an authentic-looking duplicate of a prop from a video game, movie or television show.

Background[edit]

"Replicas represent a copy or forgery of another object and we often think of forgeries we think of paintings but, in fact, anything that is collectible and expensive is an attractive item to forge".[3]

Replicas have been made by people to preserve a perceived link to the past. This can be linked to a historical past or specific time-period or just to commemorate an experience. Replicas and reproductions of artefacts help provide a material representation of the past for the public.[citation needed]

A General Terracotta Replica Warrior 1.1 m (3 12 ft)

Replicas of artefacts and art[edit]

Replicas of artefacts and art have a purpose within museums and research. They are created to help with preserving of original artefacts. In many cases the original artefact may be too frail and be to much at risk of further damage on display posing a risk to the artefact from light damage, environmental agents, and other risks greater than in secure storage.[4]

Replicas are created for the purpose of experimental archaeology where archaeologists and material analysts try to understand the ways that an artefact was created and what technologies and skills were needed for the people to create the artefact on display.[4]

Another reason for the creation of replica artefacts, is for museums to be able to send originals around the globe or allow other museums or events to educate people on the history of specific artefacts. Replicas are also put on display in museums when further research is being conducted on the artefact, but further display of the artefact in real or replica form is important for public access and knowledge.[4]

Authenticity and replicas[edit]

Replicas and their original representation can be seen as fake or real depending on the viewer. Good replicas take much education related to understanding all the processes and history that go behind the culture and the original creation. To create a good and authentic replica of an object, there is to be a skilled artisan or forger to create the same authentic experience that the original object provides.[4][5] This process takes time and much money to be done correctly for museum standards.[6]

Authenticity or real feeling presented by an object can be “described as the experience of an ‘aura’ of an original.”[7] An aura of an object is what an object represents through its previous history and experience.[8]

Replicas work well in museum settings because they have the ability to look so real and accurate that people can feel the authentic feelings that they are supposed to get from the originals. Through the context and experience that a replica can provide in a museum setting, people can be fooled into seeing it as ‘original’.[8]

The authenticity of a replica is important for the impression it gives off to tourists or observers. “According to Trilling, the original use of authenticity in tourism was in museums where experts wanted to determine 'whether objects of art are what they appear to be or are claimed to be, and therefore worth the price that is asked for them or…. worth the admiration they are being given'.”[9][10]

These reproductions and the values of authenticity presented to the public through artefacts in museums provide “truth”. However, authenticity has a way of also being represented in what the public expects in a predictable manner or based on stereotypes within museums.[10] This idea of authenticity also relates to cultural artefacts like food, cultural activities, festivals, housing, and dress that helps to homogenize the cultures that are being represented and make them seem static.[10]

For luxury goods, the same authentic feel has to be present for consumers to want to buy a “fake” designer bag or watch that provides them with the same feelings and desired experiences, but as well achieves the look of higher class.

Examples of replicas[edit]

Replicas and reproductions are also for purely consumption and personal value. Through souvenirs people can own their very own physical representation of their experience or passions. People can buy on-line full size replicas (museum-quality) of the Rosetta Stone[11] or prints and museum-quality copies of the Mona Lisa and other famous pieces of art.[12]

The replica Difference Engine No. 2 in the Science Museum, London

For example, Difference Engine No. 2, designed by Charles Babbage in the 19th century, was reconstructed from original drawings studied by Allan Bromley in the 1980s and is now on display at the Science Museum in London, England. A second example is Stephenson's Rocket where a replica was built in 1979, following the original design fairly closely, but with some adaptations.

In China the terra-cotta warriors can be recreated to be personalized for customers. The “Talented craftspeople use their hands and proper tools reproducing every masterwork precisely in the same manner as the royal craftsmen did 2200 years ago. They are made from the same local clay as the originals and constructed essentially in the same ancient method.”[13] These warriors can come in a variety of sizes and provide a very realistic and authentic experience with their own personal warrior.

As the white mark prestige comes from the imitation of iPhone, the white marks are the most popular brands in the world. Knock-off brand label fashions and accessories like Louis Vuitton, Coach, Chanel, and Rolex are major labels that get copied.

Issues and controversies[edit]

Controversies with replicas (museum context) are associated with who owns the past.

With works of art museums assert their intellectual property rights for replicas and reproduction of images which many museums use commercial licensing for providing access to images. Issues are arising with more images being available on the internet and it being free access.[14]

Artists can claim copyright infringement related to displays of their work in a context they did not approve of which can be the creation of replicas of their pieces.[15]

With replica artefacts the copies to be “museum-quality” have to reach a high standard and can cost a lot of money to be produced.[4]

Replica artefacts (copies) can provide an authentic view but represents more of the subjectivities of what people expect and desire from their museum experiences and the cultures they learn about.[16]

With copies of retail and other counterfeit goods there is a legal issue related to copyright and trademark ownership.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Replica". Merriam Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Replica". The Free Online Dictionary. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hamma, Kenneth. "Public Domain Art in an Age of Easier Mechanical Reproducibility". D-Lib Magazine. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Goff, Kent J. "Reproductions of Original Artefacts in Museum Programming and Exhibits". Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Goff, Kent J. "Reproductions of Original Artefacts in Museum Programming and Exhibits". Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Knell, Simon (1994). Care of Collections. London: Routledge. p. 296. ISBN 9780203974711. 
  7. ^ Holtorf, Cornelius (2005). From Stonehenge to Las Vegas: Archaeology as Popular Culture. Altamira press. p. 115. ISBN 0-7591-0267-8. 
  8. ^ a b Holtorf, Cornelius (2005). From Stonehenge to Las Vegas:Archaeology as Popular Culture. Altamira press. pp. 112–129. ISBN 0-7591-0267-8. 
  9. ^ Trilling, Lionel (1972). Sincerity and Authenticity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0674808614. 
  10. ^ a b c Steiner, Carol J. (January 2006). "Reconceptualizing object authenticity". Annals of Tourism Research 33 (1): 65–86. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2005.04.003. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Rosetta stone replicas". 
  12. ^ "Mona Lisa posters". 
  13. ^ "Factory Tour Lintong, Xi'an: How to make Xian Qin Terracotta Warrior Statues Soldiers?". 
  14. ^ Hamma, Kenneth (November 2005). "Public Domain Art in an Age of Easier Mechanical Reproducibility". D-Lib Magazine 11 (11). Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Bamberger, Alan. "Copyright Infringement, Reproduction Rights, and Artist Careers". The art business. com. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Holtorf, Cornelius (2005). From Stonehenge to Las Vegas:Archaeology as Popular Culture. Altamira press. p. 121. ISBN 0-7591-0267-8.