Statement of outstanding value
“The monumental complex included in the site of “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalů and Monreale” represents a material example of coexistence, interaction and interchange of different cultural components of heterogeneous historical and geographic origin.
Such syncretism has produced an original, architectural and artistic style of outstanding universal value, in which Byzantine, Islamic and Latin elements are fused, able each time to produce itself in unique combinations of sublime artistic value and extraordinary unity. The Arab-Norman syncrestism had a strong impact on the Middle Ages, contributing meaningfully to the formation of a Mediterranean Koinč, a condition that was fundamental to the development of the modern Mediterranean-European civilization.”
The UNESCO criteria under which the nine monuments were registered on the WHL
Criterion (ii): “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalů and Monreale bears witness to a particular political and cultural condition characterised by the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins (Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard and French). This interchange generated a conscious and unique combination of elements derived from the architectural and artistic techniques of Byzantine, Islamic and Western traditions. This new style contributed to the developments in the architecture of the Tyrrhenian side of southern Italy and spread widely throughout the medieval Mediterranean region.”
Criterion (iv): “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalů and Monreale is an outstanding example of stylistic synthesis that created new spatial, constructive and decorative concepts through the innovative and coherent re-elaboration of elements from different cultures.”