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Accepted Paper:

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba as a battleground: political aspirations, religious memories and competing narratives on the future of Europe  
Mar Griera (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on examining controversies around the 'legitimate ownership' of the Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba. The analysis of this conflict serves as a lens to investigate the complex intertwining of identity, religion and politics in the making of heritage in contemporary Europe.

Paper long abstract:

This presentation focus on examining contemporary controversies around the ownership and historical significance of the Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba. Over the last decades, religion has acquired new relevance and visibility in Europe, which has encouraged processes of reinterpretation of European religious heritage. Amidst this scenario, particular historical places have become battlegrounds for competing narratives about European pasts, presents and future. This is the case of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, which is the most famous and visible historic site from Al-Andalus but also a Catholic Cathedral still in use. During the past decades, the Mosque-Cathedral has become an emblem for peaceful multi-religious coexistence and have increasingly played out as a powerful icon to express aspirations for religious pluralism worldwide. However, the Mosque-Cathedral has also become a site of contention and conflict, especially at the local level. The Catholic Church has strongly claimed its real and symbolic ownership over the building, and has articulated a discourse (and a tourist dispositive) re-affirming its Christian character. Populist far rights groups have also adopted this narrative, and promoted it at the national level. In parallel, local and Andalusian secularists groups have opposed church attempts to erase the Islamic past, and have claimed the right of public institutions to appropriate the building and to secularize it. The conflict around the mosque-cathedral of Cordoba serves as a privileged lens to investigate the complex intertwining of identity, religion, memory and politics in the making of heritage in contemporary Europe.

Panel Irre08b
Taking responsibility for the past: heritage ethics in an era of cultural protectionism II
  Session 1 Friday 2 April, 2021, -