Note: This post is part of my “Museums Project“, a collection of 200+ high-concept ideas for museums.
I find the idea of “authenticity” and “realness” curious. People go to great lengths to see “the original” of something even when there’s perfectly good ways to experience an identical replica.
This museum tells you up front that everything is a reproduction but then challenges you to value it equally with it was “the real one”.
I would venture to guess that 99.999% of people who see the real Mona Lisa would not know it from a reproduction (I mean, geez, that little thing is under so much glass and surrounded by so many tourists I couldn’t hardly tell it from a bowl of fruit.)
The value of “the real one” is literally all in your mind. You don’t know the Louvre isn’t showing you some reproduction – you choose to believe what you want and the value of the experience comes out of that.
So this museum has all the most famous art in the world. And not only that, but you can get closer to it. We have the ability to make these things almost impossibly identical. So just do that, convince people that it is the same per every square nanometer.
And let them know that in our museum – The Museum of We’ve Got One of Those, Too – you can get up close and see what it really looks like. Perhaps – gasp – you could even touch it.
I know this museum would likely not be as popular or well-received as I’d like, yet I don’t understand why. The desire to know you saw “the real one” is incredibly compelling.
However, when I step out of my privileged shoes (I’ve been to the Louvre, the Uffizi, St. Peter’s, etc) it’s a different story.
I can see there are literally millions and millions of people – just in America – who for one reason or another – will never be able to see the originals.
Would they not care to see exact reproductions if it was easier and more affordable? This seems likely.
There are also those that have the ability to find their way to the “real ones” but aren’t interested enough to make it happen. But they are still *somewhat* interested. They interested enough to see a collection of identical “greatest hits”.
Idea That Fits Nowhere Else In This Post
What if we told them that one of the art pieces was actually the real thing? How would that change the experience?