The Moroccan-Chinese relations are reaching unprecedented heights, with tourism and culture leading the “multisectoral cooperation.”
Rabat – Morocco’s National Foundation of Museums (FNMM) and the National Museum of China (NMC) have signed two agreements to strengthen cooperation and cultural exchange between Morocco and China by organizing exhibitions in each of the two countries.
The president of the FNMM, Mehdi Qotbi, and the director of the NMC, Wang Chunfa, signed the agreements on Friday, January 17, in the Chinese capital Beijing.
The first agreement aims to establish a long-term relationship of friendship and cooperation between the two organizations in the fields of conservation, restoration, exhibition organization, and information sharing.
The memorandum also hopes to promote training and research exchange programs for the benefit of museum professionals from the two countries.
The five-year agreement provides for the mutual exchange of publications between the two institutions, particularly of periodicals and other academic materials.
Moroccan exhibition in Beijing
The second agreement concerns the organization of an exhibition entitled “Colors of the distant country – The treasures of Morocco.” The exhibition is set to take place in the NMC, in Beijing, between February 28 and May 31. It will showcase a collection of 102 artworks from Morocco.
The same document also provides for the organization of an exhibition of the same scale in Morocco by the NMC in the course of 2020.
“The NMC, one of the largest in the world, will highlight the heritage and cultural diversity of the Kingdom [of Morocco],” Qotbi told the press after the signing ceremony, emphasizing the importance of organizing the exhibition in Beijing.
This is “a far-reaching event and an opportunity for us to present Morocco in all its richness and diversity to the Chinese,” he continued.
The cultural and artistic event will offer the Chinese public the opportunity to discover a batch of Amazigh (Berber) jewelry from the personal collection of King Mohammed VI, made available for exhibition for the first time, according to Qotbi.
Chinese artifacts in Rabat
Meanwhile, the director of the NMC highlighted the excellent long-standing relations between the two countries, stressing that the organization of the cultural year of Morocco in China and the cultural year of China in Morocco will strengthen and promote bilateral, cultural ties.
As 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Morocco and China, both countries have decided to celebrate the occasion by organizing culture and art-themed events in their capitals.
Museums, as spaces of discovery and platforms of cultural interaction and exhibition, are a prime location to promote exchange between the two peoples and an important component of the tourism industry of both countries, said Chunfa.
The Chinese official announced that his museum will exhibit Chinese artifacts in the National Museum of Rabat in October.
Morocco-China relations reach unprecedented height
The signing of the agreements took place on the sidelines of the inauguration of the first direct flight between Morocco and China.
On Friday, January 17, a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) plane made the first nonstop flight between Casablanca and Beijing. The plane carried several Moroccan officials, including Qotbi.
The agreements and the flight inauguration are the latest in a series of events confirming the warmth of relationships between Morocco and China. Partnership between the two countries started to develop in concrete ways after King Mohammed VI’s official visit to China in May 2016.
Since the visit, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Morocco grew more than five times, reaching 350,000 tourists in 2019.