As one approaches Porto-Novo, the capital of the Republic of Benin, a cathedral dominates the skyline, which is also punctuated by minarets. Less visible are the Vodun altars erected in the public spaces, streets, and squares of this West African city known for its ethnic and religious cohabitation. The spaces and narratives of the city are charted in Porto-Novo: Patrimoine et développement (Porto-Novo: heritage and development), a welcome contribution to the growing body of knowledge on heritage and its preservation in Africa. A massive edited volume written in French (with one essay in English), it adds to scholarly understanding of the architectural and cultural heritage of Porto-Novo. Edited by Christine Mengin, lecturer in architectural...

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