The Nara Document on Authenticity (1994)

ICOMOS Symposia

In recent years, authenticity has become a central concern in the conservation of cultural heritage. The Nara Document builds on the Venice Charter in light of an expanding scope of cultural heritage concerns. It addresses the need for a broader understanding of cultural diversity and cultural heritage as it relates to the conservation. The document underscores the importance of considering the cultural and social values of all societies. It emphasizes respect for other cultures, other values, and the tangible and intangible expressions that form part of the heritage of every culture. There are no fixed criteria to judge value and authenticity of cultural property; rather it must be evaluated within the cultural context to which it belongs. Though responsibility for the care and management of heritage belongs primarily to the culture that produced it, the document calls for adherence to the principles and responsibilities imposed by international charters.