The museum offer is enriched with the opening of “Villa Harris, Musée de Tanger”

The opening ceremony of “Villa Harris, Tangier Museum” was held on Tuesday in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous, and the President of the National Museum Foundation (FNM), Mehdi Qotbi. This ceremony, in which the director of the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Abdelaziz El Idrissi, and the President of the Majorelle Garden Foundation, Madison Cox, took part, was an opportunity to present the he inaugural exhibition of the museum, the result of a generous donation from a Moroccan patron, El Khalil Belguench. “I am very happy to discover the Villa Harris, which is a place of history and memory for Tangiers and Moroccans in general,” said Mr. El Ferdaous, welcoming the exceptional work carried out by the FNM to “arrange the meeting between a collection and a place, meeting which illustrates well the dual function of heritage in Morocco ”. The opening of “Villa Harris, Tangier Museum” will first of all make it possible to promote this exceptional place which was abandoned, specified the Minister in a statement to the press, highlighting the strong component of democratization of the culture that characterizes this place. Recalling that a Moroccan donor gave his collection of works for the inaugural exhibition of this museum, Mr. El Ferdaous explained that this was possible, given that Morocco has the structures that can accommodate these donations and reassure these collectors that their creations are being properly taken care of and made available to the public, so that they are not an elitist art, reserved for certain people. For his part, Mr. Qotbi expressed his “happiness” to see a Moroccan donating to share with other citizens a collection he has amassed for years. The reign of HM King Mohammed VI is that of the modernization and progress of the country, he continued, highlighting the important place that the Sovereign gives to culture. “Thanks to this policy instilled by the Sovereign, Morocco is taken as an example in the world”, affirmed Mr. Qotbi, noting that “culture plays and will play an even more important role than before in the tourism policy of the Kingdom” . The inaugural exhibition of the museum unfolds on a route which traces the history of art in Morocco through 4 major periods. The first is that of the fascination of Western painters for the light, color and hospitality offered by the natural, urban and social landscape of Morocco. This section features paintings by several painters, including Delacroix, Jacques Majorelle, Edy-Legrand, Claudio Bravo and Jacques Veyrassat. The second period focuses on the first Moroccan painters who worked alongside European artists, such as Mohammed Ben Ali R’bati, Mohamed Ben Allal, Ahmed Yacoubi and Mohamed Hamri. It is also the period of the first Moroccan artists to have benefited from artistic training at the National School of Fine Arts in Tetouan (ENBA). The third period covers the 50s, 60s and 70s and announces the affirmation of Moroccan artistic modernity and the diversity of plastic approaches that accompanies it with a theoretical and conceptual mastery of the debates that were going through at the time the world art panorama. This is the period of the great masters of Moroccan painting like Jilali Gharbaoui and Ahmed Cherkaoui. As for the fourth period, it encompasses contemporary works that reflect the eclectic character of Moroccan art, as well as the aesthetic experiments offered by new creative media. In addition, a new educational space dedicated to young people accompanies the exhibition, with an interactive terminal and a library that allow for a deeper understanding of the works and artists exhibited. It should be noted that the Villa Harris Museum was created thanks to close collaboration between the FNM and the Wilaya of the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region, the Agency for the Promotion and Development of the North (APDN) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, which allowed the renovation of this building while retaining its authentic character.