Culture Minister leads restoration works in quake stricken historical sites

Culture Minister leads restoration works in quake stricken historical sites

On Thursday and Friday, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, conducted field visits to a number of historical monuments and sites in the Ouarzazate provinces that were damaged by the devastating earthquake that shook Morocco on September 8.

These visits come in implementation of the high royal instructions of King Mohammed VI.

Yesterday, Bensaid visited the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou in Ouarzazate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before visiting the Kasbah of Taourirt in the center of the city, after it was exposed to a number of cracks.

A ministry source confirmed that studies are currently being conducted in order to restore it.

In Al Haouz Province, the government official visited the historic Tinmel Mosque, which was severely damaged as a result of the quake, as it was in the process of restoration within the framework of a joint program between the Culture Sector and the Endowments and Islamic Affairs Sector.

The extent of the damage to the Tinmel Mosque was examined during the visit, followed by a meeting with the neighboring residents, especially since the area is near the village of Tlat N Yaakoub and not far from the community of Egil.

Following this visit, the ministry decided to begin the necessary studies on Monday, and to begin preparing the restoration project for the Tinmel Mosque, which carries a large historical significance.

Bensaid’s visit also included the city of Marrakesh, where he, accompanied by the governor of the region, and a number of officials from the central and territorial administrations of the culture sector, visited the Bahia and Badi palaces and the tombs of the Saadians. 

The monuments and landmarks of the city of Marrakesh were damaged as well, prompting the Minister to continue working on their restoration and rehabilitation to preserve their value.

This visit showed that the restoration of the historical sites remains a necessity, in implementation of the Royal Instructions, and that this process won’t keep the archaeological and historical sites closed, as it was decided to keep the Badi and Bahia palaces and the Saadian palaces partially open to Moroccan visitors to the city of Marrakesh as well as foreigners.

In the province of Traoudant, the Secretary General of the Culture Sector, Samira Malzi, visited the walls of Taroudant and Bab El Khmis to check their state.

The Culture Sector will continue its field visits and meetings at a central and territorial level, to assess the damage and craft an integrated program to begin restoration and rehabilitation work. 

All specialized human resources, including architects and researchers in the field of heritage and antiquities affiliated with the sector, will be mobilized to provide support to the affected regions.


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