What you need to know about the future museum of Jewish culture in Fez

If there is already a museum with the same theme in Casablanca whose funding has been provided by the Jewish community of Morocco, this will be the first time in history that an Arab-Muslim country will devote public funds. , to build a museum dedicated to Jewish memory. A unique initiative in the Arab-Muslim world Delighted with the royal initiative which will host the first public museum, to cultivate the memory of the Jewish community, since its installation in Morocco, the president of the National Museum Foundation, Mehdi Qotbi, confirms that it will be the only place of this kind, on the African continent and the MENA region. “This type of museum does not exist anywhere in the Arab-Muslim world and it is the first time that a Muslim state will invest public funds, to build such a place to maintain the memory of its Jewish community, without any input from the private sector or donors. “We do not measure the symbolism of tolerance and openness to other cultures, induced by this royal gesture, in particular its location located in the heart of Fez, which is the spiritual capital of the Kingdom. A project which will cost 10 million dirhams “Indeed, the 10 million dirhams, necessary for its construction, were collected, thanks to financial contributions from the foundation of museums, the ministry of culture and finally the region. “It should be remembered that this project stems from a royal desire which also kicked off in 2019 to restore and transform the Batha Palace in Fez into a museum of Islamic arts. “The latter will be the largest museum in the world, with extraordinary works, such as the oldest Minbar on the planet which was previously in war-ravaged Damascus”, explains Qotbi, for whom the two future museums will be. complementary, in terms of Moroccan history. The museum will be completed and inaugurated in 2022 According to the specifications of this museum, the building of 735 square meters on the ground on a plot of 1.168 M2, will have a level R + 1, with a garden level and with a total area of ​​1,730 M2. Knowing that the works started on November 26, the construction site should last, approximately, 18 months and be completed in May 2022. Initially, 2 million dirhams of acquisitions Concerning the collections which will be exposed, after its inauguration, scheduled for 2022, Qotbi reveals to us that its foundation already has several works, coming from its own reserves. “However, it is planned to enrich them, with donations and an acquisition campaign, at the level of the FNM which will be managed by a specialized committee. “Initially, the budget allocated to the operation of acquisition of pieces, with an archaeological, ethnographic, religious, artistic dimension … will be set at 2 MDH but, in fact, it will be funded, as and when thanks to opportunities, purchases, ”concludes, optimistically, the president of the foundation. A place that will tell the life of Moroccan Jews since Roman times Asked, in turn, the president of the Jewish community of Morocco who will also chair the scientific committee of the museum, declares that this initiative is to the credit of the King Mohammed VI who wanted to highlight, in a dedicated place, the history of the Jewish component of the Moroccan people “To date, the only museum in the Arab world, dedicated to Jewish memory, is the one located in Casablanca that exists. for 21 years but which remains much more modest than that which will be hosted by the city of Fez. “The vocation of this place will be to tell the story of the Jewish community and to shed light on its traditions and on its political, economic, social and cultural contribution to Moroccan society. “We will try to go back in time as far as possible, and even think of bringing together documents that date from Roman times. An outcome that has nothing short of cyclical “Once again, if there are similar museums in New York or Paris, the exceptionality of this project lies in the fact that none exist, in a kingdom and, still less, in a Moslem country, directed moreover, by a commander of the believers. “The most important thing is that this project is absolutely not part of a cyclical context because what we are seeing today is the result of reflection over several years. “If, in view of the recent resumption of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, the idea of ​​this museum may seem premonitory, there is no cause and effect link”, concludes Berdugo, for whom the rapprochement and the opening of a place of memory, will allow many Jewish foreigners of Moroccan origin to realize their dream of coming to visit the country of their childhood or their parents.