The Intangible Heritage Museum, located at the former headquarters of Bank Al Maghrib in the mythical Place de Jemaâ El Fna in Marrakech, was inaugurated on Thursday, in the presence of an audience of officials and personalities from different backgrounds, after several years of restoration work.
This museum offers visitors the opportunity to discover the history of the mythical place of Jemaâ El Fna, in the ocher city, to promote the Halqa and its various arts, and to raise public awareness of the major interest of this common heritage. , in order to preserve it and pass it on to future generations.
Jemaâ El Fna, Intangible Heritage Museum is designed as an extension of this beating heart of Marrakech and enriches the museum offer of the City of Seven Saints, and contributes to the safeguarding and dissemination of its ancestral and universal heritage, part of the collective memory.
This unique museum space is the result of a partnership between the National Museums Foundation (FNM), the wilaya of the Marrakech-Safi Region, the municipality of Marrakech, the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, Bank Al Maghrib, Hamid Triki, historian. It is mainly supported by ISESCO, Moulay Hafid Elalamy and the Noufissa Pharma 5 Foundation, according to the FNM.
The inauguration ceremony of this Intangible Heritage Museum was enhanced by the presence in particular of the wali of the Marrakech-Safi region, governor of the prefecture of Marrakech, Karim Kassi-Lahlou, the president of the Regional Council, Samir Goudar, the president of the FMN, Mehdi Qotbi as well as heads of external services, elected officials and other personalities.
On this occasion, Kassi-Lahlou and the delegation accompanying him, made a tour through the various dependencies of this museum space carefully laid out and in compliance with the most demanding standards in the matter, so as to highlight all the richness and diversity of the heritage of the mythical place of Jemaâ El Fna and thus allow visitors a real immersion in the history and heritage of this emblematic universe and of the Ocher City.
“Classified Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008, as the first site inscribed on the list of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Jemaâ El Fna Square is a place of meetings and mixing of different oral traditions.
This museum offers visitors the opportunity to discover the history of the mythical place of Jemaâ El Fna, in the ocher city, to promote the halqa and its various arts and to raise public awareness of the major interest of this common heritage, in order to preserve it and pass it on to future generations, explains the National Museums Foundation.
Designed in harmony with the building that houses it, the museum unveils a numismatic section, a tribute to Bank Al Maghrib and the staff who worked there, in addition to a space intended for the presentation of the square through the arts (painting , theatre, cinema and photography). Two masterpieces by Jacques Majorelle which illustrate in detail the daily scenes of this place are exhibited, as well as paintings by renowned artists who have left their mark on Moroccan painting in general and local painting in particular.
The exhibition housed in this Museum is dedicated to the Place de Jemaâ El Fna and its actors, with a route divided into different sections: the history of Marrakech and the Place de Jemaâ El Fna, the presentation of the Halqa and of its actors (Halaiquia), as well as the secrets of their know-how and their trades.
Mehdi Qotbi affirmed that “it is always a joy to make known our heritage, its richness and its variety (…) and I can say that today, the Place of Jemaâ El Fna is the center of the World. The ashes of the world in the sense that the whole world comes to this city”.
And to continue that coming to provide this city with a new museum in the place of Jemaâ El Fna, is none other than the application of “the Royal Vision to put culture as an essential element of our society and for the understanding by our visitors, what is Morocco, and make Moroccans aware that they have an exceptional country in terms of its history, heritage and culture”.
“The work that has been done enriches and shows the variety of Marrakech, a little more focus on the Jemaâ El Fna square (…) This center of the world which has always been a source of inspiration for everyone, and for great artists (….) It’s extraordinary, and it must continue today through this beautiful museum which will be visited by many Moroccans who can only be proud of what has been done,” said he concluded on a tone of pride.
In a similar statement, El Idrissi Abdelaziz, director of the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and curator of the inaugural exhibition of the Jemaâ El Fna Intangible Heritage Museum, expressed his joy following the inauguration of this museum space which reflects the specificity of the Place de Jemaâ El Fna classified as intangible heritage of humanity, noting that the route traced within this Museum begins with the classification of the said Place, with a focus on its intangible dimension and its role in the genesis of civilizations through the ages.
The visit also allows you to retrace the history of the city of Marrakech as a “Hadira” (capital city) since the Almoravid era, passing through the different stages of history, with a particular interest in the mythical Place of Jemaâ El Fna, its plans, the activities present there, the transformations undergone by the place, and also the Halqa as an essential element for the understanding of art in this place, he explained.
This museum will therefore have the role of explaining to the public who will have the possibility of visiting it, what is happening in Jemaâ El Fna and for the public who has already visited the place, to deepen their knowledge and to stop on the specificities of Jemaâ El Fna, he specified.
“This space is devoted to the Place de Jemaâ El Fna, but the objective is to safeguard the popular culture conveyed through this place for decades”, explained for his part, Hamid Triki, historian, noting that this museum offers the opportunity to also highlight the role of the halqa and the hlaïquias, who are real actors who maintain and preserve the popular culture of the Kingdom.