Rabat - Only 35 medinas in Morocco are classified as national patrimony, according to the latest report by the Court of Auditors.
Rabat – Only 35 medinas in Morocco are classified as national patrimony, according to the latest report by the Court of Auditors.
The study attributes the low number to several regulatory constraints which govern Moroccan national heritage and hamper the classification process of historic monuments and cites.
According to the Court of Auditors’ report, a number of regulatory constraints still govern the areas of heritage and hamper the classification process, starting with the shortcomings noted in the 22-80 Law on the conservation of historic sites and monuments, inscriptions, art and antiques laid out in 1980.
The Court of Auditors indicated that these shortcomings have resulted in slow and complicated procedures for classifying unclassified or even classified property due to the strict demands of law 20-80.
The report also noted the absence of any reference to Morocco’s international commitments in the framework that govern the national heritage of Morocco, particularly the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of Paris of 1972 and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of the Cultural Cases of armed conflict as well as the non-availability of a text specifically organizing Moroccan craft trades.
To overcome these shortcomings, some initiatives have been undertaken in the field of ancient heritage of the medinas. For instance, the national strategy for the rehabilitation of old heritage, laid out in 2006 by the National Habitat Council, developed a draft strategy to protect the country’s heritage, but the strategy was met with a quick end and has not known any follow-up.
The report noted that activities of the Council itself have long been frozen, which raises questions about the scope and importance accorded by the public authorities to this sector.
The ancient heritage of the medinas in Morocco constitute an invaluable patrimonial wealth and unique in the world. They represent about 10 percent of the country’s real estate assets and have about five million inhabitants and tens of thousands of business units, including brassware, jewelry, traditional weaving, pottery and zellige.
But this ancient heritage risks degradation. All medinas have important private residences (riads), Koranic schools (medersas), caravanserais (fondouks), public baths (hammams), water basins, fountains and other public structures, and more than 35 need to be recognized and protected according to law.