A museum visitor looks at an M.C. Escher piece in the museum.
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©Lex van Lieshout ANP XTRA/ANP/Newscom. Right: ©Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images
This museum has been displaying copies of prints by M.C. Escher since it opened in 2002.
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©Robin Utrecht / AFP /
Getty Images
As Good as the Original?
A museum comes under fire for displaying art reproductions

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher (ESH-ehr) is known for his reality-bending drawings and prints. Recently, Escher experts have criticized a museum in the Netherlands that houses the artist’s work. For more than a decade, the Escher in the Palace museum has been displaying replicas as though they were original works.

The Escher in the Palace does own original works by Escher. But authorities at the museum say that the collection is too fragile to constantly be on display. Instead, the museum displays copies of Escher’s most famous works.

To create the replicas, someone at the Escher in the Palace museum scanned the original Escher works. Then he or she printed copies on the same type of paper Escher used. Staff members say they can’t tell the replicas from the original artworks—and neither can unsuspecting museumgoers.

Officials at the M.C. Escher Foundation, which aims to preserve Escher’s works and legacy, disagree with this practice. They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling “posters.” Foundation officials want the museum to remove the replicas or put up signs stating that the images are copies.

“You go to a museum, and you expect that what you see there is the actual thing. You don’t expect to see a replica,” explains the managing director of the Foundation. “To me, that’s cheating.”

Escher himself made many copies of his works during his lifetime. Some people argue that it doesn’t matter whether Escher made the prints on display, as long as the designs are his. Others believe the museum is deceiving the public. What do you think? Should the Escher in the Palace museum remove the replicas? Why or why not?

CRAFT AN ARGUMENT
1. What is the Escher in the Palace’s reasoning for displaying replicas?
2. Why does the M.C. Escher Foundation oppose the museum’s display of reproductions?
3. Is it acceptable for a museum to show reproductions without telling the public? Why or why not?


I think that the museum is deceiving the public. If I went to a museum that has copies of some ones art work I would be upset. I would be expecting the real thing. If they were to do that they should at least they have a sign.
Posted by: WajeehaM . | December 15, 2015 at 9:30 PM
All these artworks are copies of the original and people want to see the real thing.
Posted by: Hajar Y. | December 15, 2015 at 9:30 PM
1. They thought the originals were too fragile to constantly be on display. 2. Their argument was that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling “posters.” 3. No because they go to a museum to see the original but not telling them it's a replica is false advertisement.
Posted by: Antavious G. | December 15, 2015 at 9:30 PM
I get that the museum doesn't want the artworks to be harmed but truthfully when you spend your money to see pieces of art you don't want to just see "posters" of the actual works. In my opinion it is just cheating people of their money and tricking them into thinking they're viewing the actual piece of art and they should at least say when you walk in that not all the artworks are original pieces or have signs stating it is a fake copy and not the original
Posted by: Roxy B. | December 17, 2015 at 3:19 PM
I think museums should have the real artwork because I would be disappointed if I thought the artwork was the real thing and it turned out not to be. If you have a replica of the artwork than there might be something tiny but different than the real piece of artwork.
Posted by: Haley K. | December 17, 2015 at 3:19 PM
Well should't the public ask around about the museum first??
Posted by: James B. | December 22, 2015 at 3:28 PM
He wants to keep his art work safe although people pay to see the posters every day at the museum. I think people to see the real artwork.
Posted by: Ryan.Y . | January 11, 2016 at 4:56 PM
Escher in the palace’s reasoning for displaying replicas are too fragile to constantly be displayed. The reason why they do this is because they do not want to break the painting. I know this because the passage it says that “But authorities at the museum say that the collection is too fragile to constantly be on displays copies of Escher’s most famous works”. The M.C. Escher Foundation oppose the museum’s display of reproductions is because they do not want to see fake art that is not real. They want people to see the real ones and not see the fake ones. I know this because “They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling ‘posters’.” So they say that, they do not want people to be charged for seeing something fake. I think that it is okay that they are putting fake reproductions without telling people. We need to restore the famous paintings that could go at any minute.The fake paintings are just like the real ones.The people do not know if it is fake or not. What they know does not hurt them.
Posted by: Ruston R. | January 11, 2016 at 4:56 PM
The authorities at the museum decided that displaying the original painting at all times might ruin them. So they started putting out replicas to preserve the original. They think that if the public has to pay to get in they might as well know that they are looking at a copy. The M. C. Escher Foundation believes that the museum should either show the original painting, or tell the public that what they're showing are copies. I agree with the museum and the M.C. Escher Foundation. I think it is a good idea to have replicas and the original switching places from time to time. But I also think that the replicas should say in bold print “REPLICAS”.
Posted by: Peter L. | January 15, 2016 at 4:45 PM
The Escher in the Palace does own original works by Escher. But authorities at the museum say that the collection is too fragile to constantly put on display. Instead, the museum displays copies of Escher’s most famous works. To create the replicas, someone at the Escher in the Palace museum scanned the original Escher works. They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling “posters.” Foundation officials want the museum to remove the replicas or put up signs saying they are copies. “You got to a museum, and you expect that what you see there is the actually thing.” “You expect to see a replica, explains the managing director.” I think it is ok and then I don’t think it's acceptable. The reason I say yes is because it could save the museum lots of money and not taking a chance of breaking one of Escher’s fragile works of art. The reason I say no is because, people expect to see the real thing not a replica. That’s my opinion of the museums replica’s.
Posted by: Ana F. | January 15, 2016 at 4:45 PM
Escher experts have criticized a museum in the Netherlands that houses the artist’s work. For more than a decade, the Escher in the palace museum has been displaying replicas as though they were original works. They are displaying replicas are to original works. They are displaying replicas “posters” that are too fragile. Officials at the M.C. Escher’s Foundation, which aims to preserve Escher’s works and legacy, disagree with this practice. They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling “posters.” Foundation officials want the museum to remove the replicas or put signs stating that the images are copies. I believe that the museum should not unfairly charge visitors. What do you think? Are they going to charge more? Are they going to charge less? Or are they going to charge the same price? Specifically, “ They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling “posters.” Therefore, I believe the museum should adjust their prices lower if they are going to show replicas.
Posted by: Ashantie C. | January 15, 2016 at 4:46 PM
Escher has been displaying replicas like they are original works. Authorities at the museum say that the collection is too fragile to constantly be on a display. Officials at the M. C. Escher foundation which aims to preserve Escher’s works and legacy disagree with this practice. They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling posters. I don’t agree with this because people want to look at the originals, and the museum has to tell the people if they want to keep a museum.
Posted by: Trenton P. | January 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM
But the authorities at the museum say that the collection is too fragile to constantly be on display. Instead the museum displays copies of Escher’s most famous works. They argue that the museum is unfairly charging visitors to view what they are calling posters. That is why they display copies. Foundation officers want the signs stating that they are copies. “ You don’t expect to see a replica,” explains the managing director of the Foundation. “To me, that’s cheating.” I think that it is fair because the artwork is very fragile. It could break and someone would have to pay a lot of money. And the museum wouldn’t have that piece of artwork anymore. Also they would have to shut down that part of the section of his artwork.
Posted by: Michael J. | January 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM
The museum of Escher has been presenting replicas of the originals, they have been doing this for over a decade. They believe that presenting the originals could destroy them
Posted by: Joseph S. | January 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM
They are displaying copies of the original paintings because they fear that displaying the originals could destroy them. But experts criticize the museum. The museum has been displaying copies for over a decade, you cant tell the difference between the original and the replicas
Posted by: Joseph S. | January 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM
This is unacceptable! People pay money real money. To come see this art work? This is treason against the artist I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do they do that when they have actual artwork in their grasps?...unacaeptible!
Posted by: Lily A. | February 9, 2016 at 11:13 PM
Nothing last forever...why preserve what is the inevitable? If I am going to a museum to see an original, I would want to see the original...deteriorating or not! Put it behind glass...
Posted by: jodi L. | February 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM
The museum displays the replicas because the originals are way too fragile. I know some people want to see the original, but you can't tell if it is the copy or not!! The museums might should say on a little tab under the piece of copied art: " *title* *artist* (this is not the original, the original is in storage)"
Posted by: Chloe H. | May 18, 2016 at 2:41 PM

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