CAT 2022 Question Paper (Slot 1) - VARC Question 8

Instructions

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Comprehension:

The Chinese have two different concepts of a copy. Fangzhipin . . . are imitations where the difference from the original is obvious. These are small models or copies that can be purchased in a museum shop, for example. The second concept for a copy is fuzhipin . . . They are exact reproductions of the original, which, for the Chinese, are of equal value to the original. It has absolutely no negative connotations. The discrepancy with regard to the understanding of what a copy is has often led to misunderstandings and arguments between China and Western museums. The Chinese often send copies abroad instead of originals, in the firm belief that they are not essentially different from the originals. The rejection that then comes from the Western museums is perceived by the Chinese as an insult. . . .

The Far Eastern notion of identity is also very confusing to the Western observer. The Ise Grand Shrine [in Japan] is 1,300 years old for the millions of Japanese people who go there on pilgrimage every year. But in reality this temple complex is completely rebuilt from scratch every 20 years. . . .

The cathedral of Freiburg Minster in southwest Germany is covered in scaffolding almost all year round. The sandstone from which it is built is a very soft, porous material that does not withstand natural erosion by rain and wind. After a while, it crumbles. As a result, the cathedral is continually being examined for damage, and eroded stones are replaced. And in the cathedral’s dedicated workshop, copies of the damaged sandstone figures are constantly being produced. Of course, attempts are made to preserve the stones from the Middle Ages for as long as possible. But at some point they, too, are removed and replaced with new stones.

Fundamentally, this is the same operation as with the Japanese shrine, except in this case the production of a replica takes place very slowly and over long periods of time. . . . In the field of art as well, the idea of an unassailable original developed historically in the Western world. Back in the 17th century [in the West], excavated artworks from antiquity were treated quite differently from today. They were not restored in a way that was faithful to the original. Instead, there was massive intervention in these works, changing their appearance. . . .

It is probably this intellectual position that explains why Asians have far fewer scruples about cloning than Europeans. The South Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-suk, who attracted worldwide attention with his cloning experiments in 2004, is a Buddhist. He found a great deal of support and followers among Buddhists, while Christians called for a ban on human cloning. . . . Hwang legitimised his cloning experiments with his religious affiliation: ‘I am Buddhist, and I have no philosophical problem with cloning. And as you know, the basis of Buddhism is that life is recycled through reincarnation. In some ways, I think, therapeutic cloning restarts the circle of life.’

Question 8

The value that the modern West assigns to “an unassailable original” has resulted in all of the following EXCEPT:

Solution

Option A: The value placed on an unassailable original in the Western world may discourage the simultaneous display of multiple copies of a painting, as the original is considered more valuable and authentic. Hence, Option A is valid.

Option B: This is a valid option because the value placed on the original artwork in the Western world may lead to the regular employment of craftsmen who are responsible for preserving and restoring original works of art. This can include tasks such as examining the artwork for damage and replacing eroded or damaged materials [restoration].

Option C: It is true that the focus on the original in the Western world may discourage interventions in ancient art that would alter the appearance of the original. In the past, ancient artworks were frequently altered during restoration, but this practice has become less common in recent times as the value of preserving the original appearance of the artwork has increased. Thus, Option C is plausible.

Option D: The passage discusses how the idea of an original work of art that cannot be altered developed in the Western world and how this intellectual position has led to different attitudes towards cloning between Europe and Asia. However, the passage does not directly mention that the value placed on an unassailable original has discouraged or influenced attitudes towards human cloning in the Western world.

Hence, Option D is the correct answer. 


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