Vandalism, Graffiti or 'just' rock art? The case of a recent engraving in the Côa Valley rock art complex in Portugal.

Fernandes, António Pedro Batarda (2010) Vandalism, Graffiti or 'just' rock art? The case of a recent engraving in the Côa Valley rock art complex in Portugal. Fundhamentos IX Global ROCK ART, 9 (III). pp. 729-743. ISSN 0104-351X [Article]

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Abstract (in English)

A vandalism/graffiti/engraving episode occurred recently in a Côa Valley rock art panel in which a hunter from the region engraved a motif (a defecating horse)superimposing two previously existing prehistoric engravings (one from the Upper Palaeolithic, the other from the Neolithic). We shall argue that the contemporary horse aims to question and satirize the value attributed by archaeologists to the prehistoric motifs inscribed by UNESCO in the World Heritage List. We will discuss and to some degree challenge the predominant point of view regarding the need to erase all graffiti, the value of (‘very recent’) contemporary motifs and ultimately how rock art researchers understand not only their discipline of study but also the very concept of rock art aesthetic appreciation. While this may be a highly controversial issue, we intend to question a dogmatic stance in which rock art sites are seen as static manifestations of a dead past, incapable of shaping and establishing dynamic live connections with the present and subsequently the future. We believe this to be a thought provoking case study when considering whether contemporary engraved or painted (graffiti) motifs can be regarded as possessing the significant qualities researchers usually bestow upon older motifs catalogued as rock art, and the feelings of different interest groups on the overall value of rock art heritage.

Item Type: Article
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Fernandes, António Pedro Batardabatarda@hotmail.com
Languages: English
Keywords: Vandalism; Prevention of vandalism; Graffiti; Rock art conservation; Rock art sites; Rock art; Prehistoric art; Prehistoric sites; Portugal
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 11. Theory of conservation
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 11. Rock art
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 12. Rock art site
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 07. Management
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 08. Monitoring
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
P.GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 05. Europe
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Côa Valley, Portugal
UNESCO WHC Number: 866bis
Volume: 9
Number: III
ISSN: 0104-351X
Depositing User: António Pedro Batarda Fernandes
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2011 10:45
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2011 10:45
URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1016

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