An Unlikely Duo in Algiers: the Mosque al-Djadid and the Statue of Duc d’Orléans

By Zeynep Celik
Submitted to Session P4729 (The Preservation of Historic Architecture in North African Cities, 2017 Annual Meeting
Archit & Urb Plng
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This paper will trace the interconnected histories of two neighboring monuments in the center of Algiers. One is a mosque from the Ottoman era, the other is the equestrian statue of Duc d’ Orléans (Ferdinand Philippe), the latter placed strategically in front of the seventeenth-century mosque in 1845. The culminating image of the oppositional pair was charged with shifting meanings from the colonial days to the present time, depending on the viewers and the political climates. Even when the pair was physically separated following the Algerian independence, collective memory on both sides of the Mediterranean maintained the association obstinately and continued to ascribe new missions to the unlikely duo. My contextual visual and spatial analysis aims to provoke questions about the relationship between built forms and ideological positions.