Abstract : This paper is based on the idea that the value of cultural heritage is not intrinsic to the objects, but constructed in a social and historical process (Riegl, Poulot, Davallon). From this premise, we show how communication devices participate in building the value of cultural heritage. We take the example of photography first as a tool of mediation (technical reproduction, documentation of cultural objects such as historic monuments and architecture) and second as a set of objects that were “heritagized” (historic photographic collections that were themselves acknowledged as visual monuments). These two aspects of photography are analyzed through the concept of mediation, which allows us to examine the construction of meaning and symbolic value in communication practices. Two aspects of mediation are considered here : the material aspect (the material effects of photography as a visual and technical dispositive) and the interpretative aspect (the way cultural objects are entangled in nets of symbolic systems, social discourse and political stakes). Michèle Gellereau develops the example of the european project “Septentrion” to show how photography can be a tool for building narratives that give sense to a common urban territory. Then Nathalie Casemajor examines the virtual exhibition “Constructing Europe” to underline how photographic heritage is represented through the lens of a common European identity. Both examples show how the emergence of new political discourses on shared identity can impact the transmission of cultural heritage as a social and symbolic practice.