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Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, University of Essex

3D Summer School Keynote Lecture

The accessibility of digital replicas, by enabling playful and light encounters with our cultural heritage, holds the potential to redefine the relationship between communities and the objects they cherish. This paper delves specifically into the study of 3D digital and printed replicas, utilising a fresh rereading of Walter Benjamin's “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” alongside Italo Calvino's “American Lesson” on Lightness. By doing so, it explores how replicas can transcend their role as mere copies and become socio-political acts of resistance in situations where original artifacts have been lost, denied, or displaced. This study sheds light on the transformative potential of replicas, illuminating how these can become symbols of resilience and resistance in the face of heritage loss.