Summary: This text offers a brief overview of some approaches to the concept of authenticity in international heritage management. Focusing on a case study of Buddhist sites in Laos, Karlström then argues that culturally specific understandings of authenticity pose problems for the universal application of a preservationist approach to heritage management. It concludes with some open-ended questions about how we should pursue alternative approaches.
Comment: This is a good text for instructors who want to discuses authenticity in the context of a reasonably in-depth look at a particular non-Western cultural context. While the article itself is light on conceptual/ philosophical work, if offers useful material for philosophical analysis and discussion. It would pair well with the theoretical framework provided in Yuriko Saito's "Why Restore Works of Art?", or the alternative approach to authenticity captured in Carolyn Korsmeyer's "Real Old Things."