Repetition: privileged origins

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A corridor in the Vatican Museum

Commercial franchises do not get their legitimacy from a relation to a privileged original, but some repeated places do have such relations. One example would be a U.S. embassy with extraterritorial rights. It is "the same place" as the U.S. for certain juridical purposes. An embassy's relation to its mother country is stronger than the relation of one franchise to another.

There are even stronger relations. For instance, while there is no original McDonald's, there does exist an original Vatican, a single Big Ben, a single Grand Shrine at Ise. They each have a unique history tied to their locations. You could Epcot-reproduce the Vatican, but that is not like a franchise; it's more like a souvenir. The replica would not be a Vatican in the way a restaurant can be a McDonald's. You can't have a Vatican, you can only have the Vatican. This is not just because there is a unique physical location in Rome but because of the claims of special historical events and recurring rituals. It is communal events that make the tie to place.