Materiality & preservation

The tangible support and the time in the cultural patrimony preservation

  • Haroldo Gallo
Keywords: Cultural heritage, preservation, materiality, memory, identity


This paper is founded on the certainty that, in general terms, in order to conserve it is necessary to transform, without depriving the artifact from its nature. It is centered on the relationships both materials and materiality keep with preservation. It addresses the tangible support of both cultural nature and heritage value artifacts, which possess the dimension of time – relative in its own nature/essence – as one of the main references and criteria for safeguard, preservation, conservation, as well as for restoration interventions and reintegration of these artifacts into daily life. The paper lays foundation in the increasing presence, relevance and meaning of the heritage issue, as well as the extensions of its conceptual and geographical basis before the great transformations of the human environment, especially the constructed one. It highlights the ways relationships and feelings are established with tangible cultural artifacts and their dimensions as monuments and documents. It identifies the prevalence and relativization of the criteria for authenticity, in comparison to identity, and their expressions in the current recommended fundaments in the area. The paper defends an active and imaginative conservationist attitude, opposed to a nostalgic approach, as a beacon for actions of systematic preservation of the heritage artifacts which form the memory and identity of communities. It concludes that some things should change over time, whereas others should remain themselves in their substance and essence, in spite of having been transformed.


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How to Cite
Gallo, H. (2016). Materiality & preservation: The tangible support and the time in the cultural patrimony preservation. DAT Journal, 1(2), 151-162.