Chairs: Giorgio VERDIANI,  Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy | Benno RIDDERHOF, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Description of the session: Jorge Luis Borges wrote in the second part of the 20th century a short story called “The library of truth” in which a planet exists where all the information in the universe ever produced is stored. So the absolute truth must also be somewhere on that planet.
Marshall Mcluhan wrote in the same era: “Understanding Media” and more famously “The Medium is the Message.” He states that at a certain point in time the intrinsic meaning of a subject becomes subservient to the medium used to present it.
Both statements apply 100% to visual heritage but also to the developing controversy  around visual heritage in each generation.
Heritage is or becomes controversial when a society changes its approach towards it. Not only now, but also in the past.  A Roman would thoroughly enjoy bloody gladiator games or a good crucifixion (bring the snacks), but nowadays society looks at it with abject horror. More recently the statues of generals fighting on the losing side of the American Civil War have become a subject of intense debate in the USA.
We try to be objective as possible creating reconstructions of a heritage subjects with all tools available. But is the result a confirmation of the current thinking in society, an exaggeration of the current feeling in society towards the subject or something totally different?
We would like to invite speakers who have dealt with heritage that was controversial but not anymore, or speakers that researched heritage that was not controversial but became controversial or colleagues that have dealt with heritage that always was and still is controversial. Also we would like to invite speakers on a heritage subject that is at the same time considered controversial and not controversial.
What were the challenges, the objections and how was it solved or not solved. What can we learn from it.

Target group: All people working with visual heritage.

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