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Google Maps 'undeletes' famous Cordoba mosque

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Google Maps 'undeletes' famous Cordoba mosque
The building is referred to as the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Unesco's World Heritage Site listing and is considered an iconic example of Moorish architecture. Image: Google Maps
17:20 CET+01:00
Google has backtracked on a recent decision to alter the name of the Great Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba to 'Cordoba Cathedral' in its online map service after thousands of angry citizens started a petition on the campaign website Change.org.

Tourists looking for the famous Unesco World Heritage Site on Google Maps after November 13th were confused when the online map service referred to it only as 'Cordoba Cathedral'.

Although the Catholic church currently administers the building, it was a mosque for hundreds of years. As a result it is known internationally, including in Unesco's 1984 World Heritage declaration, as the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

It's name became the subject of controversy when the Catholic church began to omit the word 'mosque' in leaflets and tickets and referred to it only as the Santa Iglesia Cathedral.

In 2006 the church even paid €30 ($38) to officially change the name.  The building's official website was subsequently registered as www.catedraldecordoba.es, reflecting the new monikker.

But after tech giant Google changed its Maps entry, dozens of campaigners began to report it as an error via an online feedback form, according to Spanish daily El Diario.

The Mosque-Cathedral Heritage for Everyone group slammed the change and quickly collected over 20,000 signatures on an online petition using the Change.org website.

Google quickly relented and edited Maps to 'return' the Mosque to its rightful  place.

The Mosque-Cathedral was an early Christian church built in by the Visigoths but was demolished and rebuilt as a mosque in around 766 AD. It remained a mosque for over five centuries until it was converted into a cathedral during the Reconquista and is widely regarded as an outstanding example of Moorish architecture.

The building receives around 1.5 million visitors a year.

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