Event / The Council for Arab-British Understanding

Stealing from the Saracens, with Diana Darke

20 Aug 2020 – 14:00

The Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) invites you to an online book launch with author Diana Darke, who will speak about her book Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe

Against a backdrop of Islamophobia, Europeans are increasingly airbrushing from history their cultural debt to the Muslim world. But this legacy lives on in some of Europe’s most recognisable buildings, from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament. This beautifully illustrated book reveals the Arab and Islamic roots of Europe’s architectural heritage.

Diana Darke traces ideas and styles from vibrant Middle Eastern centres like Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo, via Muslim Spain, Venice and Sicily into Europe. She describes how medieval crusaders, pilgrims and merchants encountered Arab Muslim culture on their way to the Holy Land; and explores more recent artistic interaction between Ottoman and Western cultures, including Sir Christopher Wren’s inspirations in the ‘Saracen’ style of Gothic architecture.

Recovering this long yet overlooked history of architectural ‘borrowing’, Stealing from the Saracens is a rich tale of cultural exchange, shedding new light on Europe’s greatest landmarks.

Please register below AHEAD of time to join this online briefing: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwqc-ytrDstE90UYjfL_hb06ITPBiLlLKHl 

From mid-August the book will be available to purchase with a 30% discount here if you use the code HURST30.

Stealing from the Saracens
How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe
The Council for Arab-British Understanding
Online meeting