Authenticiteit en spiritualiteit


  • Wim Denslagen Utrecht University & Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands




According to Seung The Charter of Venice (1964) was presented as a universal declaration in the field of protection of monuments and historic buildings, but in reality it was steeped in a European spirit. Consequently, this charter does not do justice to specifically eastern values. Western culture, as Seung starts his argument, originated from the Greek and Jewish civilizations, whereas eastern culture is based on China.

There are great differences between these two worlds, but they are nevertheless ignored by the charter referred to, which was based on the range of thought of writers such as John Ruskin and Camillo Boito.Even if Seung were right in his essentialist proposition with respect to Chinese culture, this is not sufficient proof of the fact that western culture is materialist. Nor is it clear yet why the charter of 1964 would have to comply with the image given of Chinese culture by Seung. A charter brings up something that needs improvement, it has not been developed to comply with traditions.

Biografie auteur

Wim Denslagen, Utrecht University & Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Prof.dr. Wim Denslagen is medewerker van de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed en hoogleraar in de theorie en geschiedenis van de monumentenzorg aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Hij publiceerde onder meer ‘Architectural Restoration in Western Europe: Controversy and Continuity’ (1994), ‘Romantisch modernism’, ‘Nostalgie in de monumentenzorg’ (2004 en 2009 in Engelse vertaling) en ‘Memories of Architecture’ (2009). Hij werkt nu aan een boek over de geschiedenis van de landschapswaardering.


Ian Buruma, The Missionary and the Libertine. Love and War in East and West, Londen 1996, 269. Ian Buruma en Avishai Margalit, Occidentalisme: Het Westen in de ogen van zijn vijanden, Amsterdam 2004 (vertaald door Ankie Klootwijk).

Otto von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order, Princeton 1956, 24.

Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism. Londen 1967.

Zie: Wim Denslagen en Niels Gutschow, Architectural Imitations: Reproductions and Pastiches in East and West, Maastricht 2005.

Robert Bevan, The Destruction of Memory. Architecture at War, Londen 2006, 189.

Michael Petzet, ‘In the full richness of their authenticity – The Test of Authenticity and the New Cult of Monuments’, Nara Conference on Authenticity in Relation to the World Heritage Convention (Nara, Japan, 1994), UNESCO 1995, 88.

Nara Conference 1995, xxiii.

Gregory Ashworth en Peter Howard, European Heritage. Planning and Management, Exeter 1999, 44.

Nobuko Inaba, ‘What Is the Test of Authenticity for Intangible Properties’, Nara Conference 1995, 329-332.




Denslagen, W. (2010). Authenticiteit en spiritualiteit. Bulletin KNOB, 109(4), 135–140.