Three months after UNESCO added Essaouira to its Creative Cities Network, two new projects have consolidated the Moroccan city’s image as a destination for art-lovers.
Rabat – During his official visit to Essaouira, King Mohammed VI launched construction works on a new “town for arts and culture” in the middle of the city, on Friday, January 17.
The new town project aims to provide the musical and theater groups of the city with a large area for training and rehearsal. The project is set to be built on a surface of 3.6 hectares, with a budget of MAD 350 million (about €32.9 million).
The “town for arts and culture” will include a large theater with a capacity of 1,000 seats, a music conservatory, a library, a museum of traditional arts, a museum of tea, a promenade with the capacity to accommodate up to 30,000 people, and an underground car park.
The construction works are expected to take 48 months. The project is an inter-ministerial partnership between the Ministry of Interior, with a MAD 130 million (around €12.2 million) contribution, the Ministry of Economy (MAD 50 million or €4.7 million), the Ministry of Agriculture (the land), the Ministry of Urban Planning (MAD 50 million), the Ministry of Culture (MAD 60 million or €5.6 million), and the Marrakech-Safi Regional Council (MAD 60 million).
The King presided over the signing ceremony of the financing agreement for the project, accompanied by all the concerned ministers and officials.
A handicraft complex
On the same day, King Mohammed VI inaugurated a new handicraft complex. The project had a budget of MAD 18.5 million (around €1.7 million).
The complex aims to provide young people of the region with a professional qualification suited to the socio-economic context of the craft sector, mainly through apprenticeships and integration into the job market.
The artisanal complex will also help preserve endangered crafts, promote local craft products, and promote gender equality; half of the beneficiaries are women.
The new project aims to organize and supervise the artisans of the region, in order to support them through improving and diversifying their income, and enhancing their products.
The facility includes 20 professional workshops, three training rooms, one computer room, and seven exhibition spaces. Each of the exhibition spaces will promote one craft, including carpentry, jewelry, weaving, and crafting musical instruments.
The complex also includes a multipurpose room, the headquarters of the Provincial Directorate for Handicrafts, an office for the association of beneficiaries, and other administrative and technical facilities.
The project is a partnership between the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), the Ministry of Tourism, the Marrakech-Safi Regional Council, and the Essaouira Provincial Council.