HM King Mohammed VI, accompanied by HH Prince Moulay Ismail, inaugurated, on Tuesday in Rabat, the Mohammed VI Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, a leading project which will contribute to preserving and spreading Morocco's artistic and civilizational heritage.
In a speech on this occasion, chairman of the National Foundation of Museums Mehdi Qotbi underlined that the implementation of this project shows the sovereign's will to make culture a real engine for human, social and economic development and his resolve to equip the country with high-level cultural facilities that encourage creativity and promote the principles of cultural democratization.
Worth 200 million dirhams, the new facility is the first museum institution dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary art and meets international museum standards, he said, adding that the new facility is aimed at building bridges with foreign foundations and institutions.
The Museum was designed to raise awareness and initiate the public, mainly youth, to contemporary artistic creation, and promote participation in the country's cultural life as well as openness on international creation. It will also offer trainings and conferences to well-informed audience as graduates of architecture schools and of fine arts, and art historians.
The three-floor facility includes mainly an auditorium, exhibitions named after renowned Moroccan artists (Chaibia Talal, Jilali Gherbaoui, Meryem Meziane, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Farid Belkahya, Hassan Glaoui, André Elbaz, Mohamed kacimi), a pedagogical workshop, a laboratory for art restoration, a library, and a VIP lounge.
The Mohammed VI Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art will host, on the occasion of its opening, an inaugural exhibition entitled "1914-2014: a century of creation" about Morocco's artistic evolution.
The inauguration ceremony was marked by the screening of a documentary on the Museum directed by Noureddine Lakhmari.
HM the King chaired, on this occasion, the signing ceremony of three agreements. The first is a partnership agreement between the National Foundation for Museums and the National Education Ministry. It was signed by minister of National Education Rachid Benmokhtar and Mehdi Qotbi.
The second agreement is a partnership between the National Foundation for Museums and the Employers Association (CGEM). It was inked by head of CGEM Miriem Bensaleh Cheqroun and Mehdi Qotbi.
The third is a partnership agreement between the National Foundation for Museums and the Smithsonian Institution. It was signed by Director of the Office of International Relations at the Institution Molly Fannon and Mehdi Qotbi.
The sovereign signed, on this occasion, the visitors' book of the Museum.
The monarch decorated afterwards some Moroccan and foreign figures. He granted the Grand Ribbon of Al Alawite Wissan to Jack Lang, former French culture minister and chairman of the Institute of Arab World in Paris, and the Al Arsh Wissam of Officer Rank to Bahija Simou, director of royal archives.
HM the King awarded the Al Arsh Wissam of Knight Rank to Abdellah Chahid, secretary general of the Museum, to Abdelaziz Idrissi, director of the Museum, and to Zined Benmoussa, director of general equipment at the Ministry of equipment and transportation.
The sovereign also granted the Al Mukafaa Al Wathania Wissam of Commander Rank to artists Abdelkarim Al Ouazzani, Mohamed Tabbal, Saâd Benchefaj and André Elbaz.
HM the King decorated with the Alawite Wissam of Officer Rank Pauline Demazière, founder of Rabat's "l'Atelier" art gallery, Vanessa Branson, founder of Marrakech biennial event, Elisabeth Bauchet Bouhlal, artist and work of art collector, and Lucien Amiel, director Casablanca's "Venise Cadre" gallery.
The sovereign awarded the Alawite Wissam of Knight Rank to Yannick Lintz, director of Islamic arts department at Louvre Museum in Paris.
HM the King granted the Al Mukafaa Al Wathania Wissam of Officer Rank to Karim Chakkor, architect who designed the Mohammed VI Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Karim and Mustapha Belfquih, work of art collectors, Meryem Sebti, director of Diptyk magazine, Hicham Daoudi, founder of the first African art exhibition in Marrakech and Mohamed Amine El Kebbaj, architect and executive president of Marrakech biennial event.
At the end of the ceremony, the chairman of the National Foundation for Museums handed HM the King a pin and a stamp bearing the Museum logo.