Saturday, July 30, 2016

Moroccan Museums Get an Upgrade

Yesterday, Friday, July 29th, the Museum of the Kasbah in Tangier was renamed The Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures and opened its doors to the public after several months of renovation at a cost of around 2.5 million dirhams. Part of the budget (1.3 million dirhams) was kindly donated by a French citizen, resident in Morocco
Now open: "The Kasbah of Mediterranean Cultures"

Mehdi Qotbi, president of the National Museums Foundation (FNM) explained, "We felt the urgency to raise the the various museums of Morocco to international museum standards. So we are not going to wait for state funds to start these projects".

The Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Culture in Tangier is the first in a series of thirteen projects to upgrade of all Moroccan museums. Two museums whose current renovation work began in 2016 should also open their doors by the end of the year.

The next museums to be upgraded is the Archaeological Museum of Rabat which will probably be renamed The Rbati Museum of History and Civilisations.

This will be followed by the Batha Museum in Fez, whose construction was begun in May. According to  Mehdi Qotbi, "The work in Fez includes the consolidation and restoration of the building as well as upgrading its electricity. The three magnificent carved rooms, dating back 300 years, will also be restored".

The Batha Museum in Fez

The Batha museum work has required a budget of around ten million dirhams. Work will also include the creation of reception areas and road signs. Like most others museums it will also be renamed The Batha Museum of Islamic Art.

"We want to strengthen the identity of museums so that they are complementary to each other," said Mehdi Qotbi, who believes that the name of each museum will now "be in line with where it is located and the collections that it presents to the public."

In 2017 the Safi Museum of Ceramics of Safi and The Dar El Bacha Museum in Marrakech should be open to the public.


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