9 January 2017

Morocco: HM the King Launches Projects to Preserve Historical Heritage of Old Medina in Marrakech

Photo: Agence Marocaine de Presse
HM King Mohammed VI launched in Marrakech, several projects aimed at preserving the historical heritage of the old medina of Marrakech and reinforcing its tourist and international character.

Marrakech — HM King Mohammed VI launched, on Monday in Marrakech, several projects aimed at preserving the historical heritage of the old medina of Marrakech and reinforcing its tourist and international character.

The Sovereign thus launched the program of restoration and enhancement of the tourist and spiritual circuits of the ancient medina of Marrakech, as well as the construction projects of the «Merstan» urban health center, the reconstruction of the first aid centers of the "Moroccan Red Crescent" in Jamaâ El Fna and El Mellah district, and the restoration of the "Ben Youssef" Medersa.

In line with the objectives of the Development Plan "Marrakech, City of Permanent Renaissance", these projects reflect the special interest granted by the Sovereign to the preservation and enhancement of the historical heritage of several cities in the Kingdom, and His firm determination to safeguard the different strata of the national memory.

They also testify to the will of HM the King, Commander of the Faithful, to highlight the intangible, spiritual, cultural and architectural capital of the city of Marrakech, to consolidate the place of this City-Museum as a flagship tourist destination of Morocco, and to promote the living conditions of its inhabitants.

The program of restoration and enhancement of the tourist and spiritual circuits of the old medina of Marrakech provides for restoring and enhancing the tourist circuit from "Dar El Bacha" to "Ben Youssef", especially through the renovation and embellishment of the facades of the buildings along this circuit.

The 100-million dirham program also concerns the spiritual circuit of the seven Saints (Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Cadi Ayyad Ben Moussa, Sidi Abdelaziz Tebbaâ, Abderrahmane Ben Abdallah Assouhaili, El Abbas Assabti, Sidi Ben Slimane Al Jazouli, and Abdallah El Ghazouani)

In addition to this program, the old medina of Marrakech will witness the achievement of several projects aimed at improving the conditions of the population's access to the basic services and preserving the heritage of the ancient medina of Marrakech.

In this regard, the Ben Youssef medersa, an architectural gem built in the heart of the old medina near the Ben Youssef Mosque, will be restored.

This project, which will be carried out for a budget of 61 million dirhams, testifies to the will of HM the King, Commander of the faithful, to preserve the cultural and civilizational heritage of the ancient cities of Morocco.

Other projects launched today are related to the construction of the "Merstan" urban health center in Sidi Ishaq (3 Million dirhams), the reconstruction of the "Moroccan Red Crescent" first aid centers in Jamaâ El Fna and El Mellah district (4.95 million dirhams).

HM King Mohammed VI chaired the signing ceremony of the convention on the financing, restoration and enhancement of the tourist and spiritual circuits of the ancient medina of Marrakech.

HM the King also visited the site of the renovation and conversion of former "Dar El Bacha" into a "Museum of Confluences". The 12-million dirham project will be endowed with an exhibition space dedicated to the art of Islam which will exhibit writings, tablets and various objects related to science and Islamic knowledge.

It will also include a space reserved to the universal collection of Patty Cadby Birch, representing the four continents (America, Africa, Europe, Asia), a permanent exhibition space that would comprise historical and archaeological data demonstrating the different facets of the Moroccan culture, as well as a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions.

These various projects are an addition to the many actions and initiatives undertaken by the Sovereign for the protection and promotion of the old medina of Marrakech, in particular the urban rehabilitation program of Hay El Mellah, the requalification project of the tourist circuit of "Ben Youssef" square towards "Jamaâ El Fna" Square, through "Ben Saleh" Square, and the rehabilitation of "Selhem", "Ziyat" and "Sidi Abdelaziz" Foundouks.

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