Morocco needs to implement an effective legal framework to protect and promote the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous stressed the need to update the legal framework that is used to protect the country’s material and symbolic patrimony.
Ferdaous presided over a roundtable discussion organized by the ministry of culture in partnership with the Foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Rabat.
The minister highlighted the urgent need to draft news laws with regards to the protection of Morocco’s heritage. The minister also stressed the crucial economic role of historical monuments in financing the cultural sector. In fact, 99% of the National Fund for Cultural Action’s revenues (FNAC) come from income from visits to heritage sites.
A strong and appropriate legislative framework can ensure the safeguarding of heritage in all its forms according to Karim Hendili, the head of the culture program at the office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the Maghreb.. said that
Hendili added that Morocco has ratified all the UNESCO cultural conventions that relate to the issue of safeguarding heritage. This includes the 2005 convention on the promotion and protection of cultural diversity and expression which covers the role of culture in sustainable and economic development.
An appropriate legal framework could boost the country’s incomes from its diverse heritage site, explained Hendili.
Meanwhile, the president of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-Morocco) Abdelati Lahlou, underlined Morocco’s rich heritage and sites, both natural and cultural.
He warned of the illicit trafficking of cultural materials and of the need to effectively implement the principles and foundations of international law of cultural heritage and the protection of historical heritage in Morocco’s urban planning law.
The protection of historical monuments, as well as the safeguarding of archaeological and ethnographic material, should be protected by Moroccan legislation, added Lahlou.
Protecting Morocco’s tangible and intangible heritage from illicit trafficking and smuggling contributes to the prosperity of the North African country’s cultural sector both at home and abroad, said Ferdaous.