By Safaa Kasraoui
Rabat – Following twelve months of hard work, the Museum of History and Civilizations of Rabat has re-opened its doors to the public on April 12.
The Museum of History and Civilizations has become a space that brings together a set of
important historical components of Moroccan heritage, highlighting and introducing them to national and international attendees.
The city of Rabat is considered the home of important cultural buildings, including Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the History and Civilizations Museum (formerly the Archaeological Museum).
The Museum of History and Civilizations provide
s visitors with the opportunity to discover a unique collection of precious treasures accompanied by material evidence from the various civilizations that have descended on Morocco from prehistoric times, to Islamic civilizations.
The museum consists of two sections. First, a historical section that showcases the history of Morocco through the centuries via the featured elements. Second, a thematic section, which focuses mainly on ancient marble and bronze collections.
The entrance hall of this area features a new interactive digital screen that shows visitors the important geographical zones of Morocco.
Just behind the smart screen, there is a large marble statue of Ptolemy of Mauritania, the last Roman client king and ruler of Mauritania for Rome. The same zone is surrounded by a main hall decorated with geometrical mosaic pieces.
The left wing of the museum includes a collection of bronze and ceramic figures, and antiquities from ancient Moroccan civilizations, namely, Phoenician, Mauritanian, and Roman civilizations. These pieces are from different Moroccan archaeological sites, including Sale, Essaouira, and Volubilis (Walili).
This zone of the museum includes Islamic articles, which enables visitors to discover Morocco through various ruling dynasties, from Al Adarissa to the Alawites.
The museum displays architectural elements, scientific objects, measuring tools and currencies, including silver and gold coins that existed over the centuries, in addition to a small smart screen located in the corner of the upper section of the museum.
This part of the museum features some of the most essential marble statues, originating mainly from Banasah and Walili, as well as a collection of bronze artifacts that present the graphic themes of Morocco’s heritage.
At the left of the same section, there is an area devoted to the old artwork of white marble, as well as Roman sculpture masterpieces found in Morocco.
This section also features one of the most important masterpieces of the Moroccan archaeological heritage, the bronze bust of Juba II, which has also been featured at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
The outer garden of the museum consists of stone artifacts with Libyan and Latin inscriptions, as well as paintings and Islamic publications.
Fatima Zahra Chbihi, the History and Civilization museum’s curator, told Morocco World News that “this renovation is the strategy of National Museum Foundation (FNM), which aims to improve the quality of Moroccan museums in general and make them more attractive.”
Moroccans and Museums
Chbihi added that “there is a certain minority of Moroccan people who still having that passion of visiting museums. However, foreign visitors are unfortunately more interested in Moroccan museums than the original inhabitants.”
She went on to add that some people visit Moroccan museums only on Fridays, because of the free entry offered on this day.
3rd year students at the National Institute of Archeology and Heritage, Zineb Diouri and Hajar Bekkari, shared their opinions with MWN regarding the renovated museum.
Zineb Diouri was surprised by the changes done for the museum. “I had a passion for archeology and its arts before choosing it as my education plan,” She said.
On the other hand, Hajar Bakkar told MWN that “cultural buildings were not receiving appropriate attention before, but now the FNM is making tangible changes to save Morocco’s heritage.”
“The renovation of Moroccan museums has a very positive significance. It is a symbol of the acknowledgment and valuation of Moroccan heritage, she added.
The museum entry will be free for the next 13 days