The museum space explains Cútar's Islamic origins / SUR

Cútar opens visitor centre following 12th century Qur’an discovery

The town hall has created a space with museum and educational resources, explaining how the manuscripts from the Nasrid period appeared during the renovation of a house in 2003

Eugenio Cabezas
EUGENIO CABEZAS

The village of Cútar in the Axarquía boasts one of the best-preserved Islamic period villages in Malaga province. In 2003, during renovation work on a house, a copy of a twelfth century Qur’an was discovered hidden in one of the walls, along with two other manuscripts from the same period. The originals are now kept in the provincial historical archive. However, almost two decades later, Cútar, which has a population of just 600 inhabitants, has opened a visitor centre where the history of its last ten centuries can be traced.

The building was constructed in 2015 to initially house the museum about the so-called ‘Monfíes’, a term used to describe Muslims who remained in the area after the Christian conquest and were persecuted. The space explains how the two manuscripts and the Qur’an appeared, their contents, the materials they are made of, and other aspects of interest such as some of the names of the 15th century inhabitants of Cútar, places and anecdotes.

Prohibition of books written in Arabic

The story centres around one of the main characters; the al-faqi and imam of the Cútar mosque, Muhammad al-Ŷayyār, the owner of the books and the person who hid them around the year 1500 due to the forced conversion of the ‘Mudejars’ to Christianity and the prohibition on the possession of books written in Arabic.

This tour leads to the adjoining building, which explains what a typical Cútar farmhouse would have looked like during the Nasrid period and its subsequent evolution as a Christian town after the conquest by the Catholic kings in May 1487.

The museum project has been financed entirely by the Cútar town hall at a total cost of 50,000 euros. Others involved in the project include the director of the Museum of Nerja and archaeologist of Rincón de la Victoria Juan Bautista Salado, under an agreement signed between the Cútar and the Cueva de Nerja Foundation.

Opening hours

For the mayor of Cútar, Francisco Ruiz, the opening of this centre, which took place officially on 7 October, "is a turning point for the enhancement of the rich historical heritage of Cútar and to publicise one of the most interesting episodes of the historical heritage of Málaga". Ruiz went on to say, "Cútar is very proud of its history and its roots, which is why the town hall is making a serious commitment to recovering it and publicising it.”

The centre will initially be open from 12 to 2pm and from 6 to 9pm. For group visits, interested parties can contact the town hall for other options.

Representatives from the local, provincial and regional authorities at the opening / sur