By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, October 19, 2012
The claims of the Amaizigh activist, Aboubakr Anghir, a member of the Amazigh League for Human Rights, reported by AFP, that the Salafists destroyed stone carvings in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains caused a stir in Morocco.
The Ministry of Culture unequivocally refuted the news spread on Wednesday about the destruction of prehistoric stone carvings by Salafists. The cravings date back more than 8,000 years.
Speaking on the Moroccan TV, Al Oula, Mohammed Amine Sbihi, the minister of culture, argued that “the news of the destruction of these prehistoric engravings in a famous archaeological site in the Yakour plain, south of Marrakesh, is fallacious. Contrary to what has been published, Investigations carried on the ground by central authorities showed that these engravings were not subjected to any destructive act.”
The minister went on to say that “the engravings, like in any part of the world, are vulnerable to climate change and human intervention.”
Mustapha Ramid, the minister of justice, also refuted the claims of the Amazigh Activist, explaining that these kind of “allegations entails interpretations that may harm the interests of our country and its image abroad, adding that the good values of openness and tolerance, are entrenched in the minds of the Moroccan people.”
He called on Moroccan to be aware of news released without scrutiny, which may undermine the reputation of our country. During a government organized trip to the Yagour plateau, Mustapha El Khalfi, the Minister of Communication and government spokesman said that “the report that these stone carvings were damaged, as you can see, is not true.”
He went on to say that “this kind of incident, contrary to our values, cannot take place in Morocco,” adding that one of the government’s goal is to protect these pre-historic monuments, “which reflect Morocco’s cultural diversity and the deepness of our history.”
“Morocco is an exception… We’ve heard the stories (about what they have done) in other countries. But not here in Morocco, God willing,” Khalfi was quoted by AFP as saying.