Heritage murals as tourist attractions in Ravenna, Moldavia and Istanbul
Murals are generally perceived as a picture created by the application of paint upon a surface, but also encompass tile or mosaic murals, where the design is created by small pieces of stone, glass or ceramic tiles. Murals were created for a range of different purposes including their aesthetic impact, the making of political statements through the depiction of rulers, battles and conquests, reinforcing the authority of rulers and as a means to create and entrench cultural identities. This chapter considers a selection of European tile, mosaic and painted murals as examples of heritage, taking a retrospective look at their importance from a political, artistic and cultural standpoint, and the ways in which they become markers of identity and are consumed by and interpreted to contemporary tourists. It focuses on murals that are featured as tourist attractions in most reputable guidebooks, such as the Lonely Planet series and the Eyewitness guides.