As with any major monument that figures prominently in architectural history, the Great Mosque of Cordoba has a classic architectural story that explains it. This story attracts little attention in the USA, where the medieval past is of little interest because our national narrative does not depend on it. But in Europe, where a recent exhibition catalogue on Islamic art concluded with the question, Que representa hoy al-Andalus para nosotros? (What does al-Andalus represent for us today?) (Cheddadi 2000:270), medieval history plays a powerful role in modern heritage politics. Especially in Spain, the interpretation of the medieval Iberian past, with its intertwining threads of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish culture, is a deeply political act.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContested Cultural Heritage
Subtitle of host publicationReligion, Nationalism, Erasure, and Exclusion in a Global World
EditorsHelaine Silverman
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781441973047
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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