chapter  8
9 Pages

The relevance of authenticity

Eidsvoll Constitution hall restoration 1814–2014
WithHans-Henrik Egede-Nissen

This chapter opens up by a quotation: Authenticity is a key term in the field of cultural heritage. The antiquarian qualification process sets out from a consideration of authenticity: for an object to be considered worthy of safeguarding, or for a restoration to be claimed legitimate, it is essential that it meets overall demand for authenticity. The German cultural theoritician Aleida Assmann claims that architecture contains what she calls die Gnade einer zweite Chance – the mercy of the second possibility: in this particular case, the wheel of history seemingly can be rolled backwards. Reconstruction is the problem child of cultural heritage, not the least because it challenges the established demands in field about so-called material authenticity. The object of the very recent application of French master's ideas were Eidsvoll House, building where Norwegian Constitution was written. The occasion was Constitution's bicentenary, and goal was to bring the house to look as it supposedly met the eye 200 years ago.