Mediterranean Palimpsests focuses on the layered art histories of medieval Mediterranean cities as the ground for initiating scholarly connections that challenge and move beyond the boundaries of modern historiographies, national narratives and contemporary socioeconomic realities. Set in a region where issues of cultural heritage and identity are currently highly contested, the multi-year project identifies the key role of art history in explaining the past and understanding its relevance for the present as well as for the future. We focus on cities whose formation during the medieval and early modern periods significantly shaped their subsequent growth and in turn spatially and culturally framed the production and experience of art and architecture in the following centuries. Our goal is not to trace the history of each city in itself, but to consider the Mediterranean as a connected field in which medieval cities share the experience of survival, appropriation and reconstruction for modern use.
Workshops will be convened in the cities of Nicosia, Granada, Cordoba, Rhodes, and Thessaloniki to advance scholar's understanding of transition, appropriation and identity in art history. Our targeted participants are art historians at the formative stage of their career, with expertise in their own region of study but willing to think comparatively about the entire Mediterranean, in keeping with the Getty Foundation’s “Connecting Art Histories” initiative. A key goal of the Mediterranean Palimpsests, hosted by The Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, is the formation of an ongoing collaborative network around shared issues in the study of art and architecture of historic Mediterranean cities.