Contested Heritage: The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, Spain
Built for Muslim worship beginning in the eighth-century, and consecrated as a Catholic church in the thirteenth-century, this temple is protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site as an outstanding example of the architectural legacy of the Kingdom of Al-Andalus, and is widely promoted as a symbol of the historical coexistence of Christians and Muslims. Contemporary conflicts, arising at the same time as Cordoba began promoting an economic development model based on cultural tourism, revolve around the appropriate restoration, ownership, management, and cultural meaning of the monument. This monument offers a paradigmatic case to examine the political economy and cultural politics of urban heritage and the importance of discourse in shaping political agendas around memory, identity, and ownership.
I have co-authored two academic journal articles on the topic with Dr. Jaime Jover Báez, one in Spanish for Cuadernos Geográficos and the other in English for the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. These may be found in the Publications section of this site. We intend to continue researching this topic and are open to being contacted regarding this ongoing investigation.