What is 'In Situ' - in art and why is it so important?

In situ derived from the Latin phrase, meaning 'in position'. With regard to art, 'in situ' refers to works of art which are made specifically for a host site, or a work of art that takes into account the site which it is to be installed, displayed and exhibited. As a result the work often compliments its surroundings, namely the architecture which frames it. Examples of works of art which were commissioned for specific functions and which were intended to remain in situ are: altarpieces, sculptures and frescoes. When these artworks are moved and relocated to galleries they often loose part of their context and elements of their meaning. As remaining in situ is often vital to our understanding and interpretation of artworks, in order to establish the nature and meaning of the artwork.
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