Heritage: The past and future of Rabat under the magnifying glass

On the occasion of the celebration of the World Day for Monuments and Sites this year under the theme: “diverse complex past and future”, the Foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Rabat, chaired by Princess Lalla Hasnaa, and ICOMOS-Morocco, initiated a meeting around the past and the future of the city of Rabat.

Thus, under the theme “Rabat a rich past, and a promising future”, the speakers evoked, pell-mell, the historical monuments and sites of Rabat and its region, from prehistoric times to the twentieth century through the ancient medieval and modern period.

Six speakers, archaeologists, historians and cultural heritage specialists, took part in this meeting. By highlighting the importance of the sites and monuments of the capital of the Kingdom and its long and rich history, the experts have shown that the modernist values ​​of 20th century town planning and architecture, experienced in Rabat during the protectorate have adapted to the context of the Maghreb, while being part of the fabric of the old city and its many historical and heritage components.

In this sense, they also placed the emphasis on the Outstanding Universal Value of Rabat Modern Capital, a historic city, a shared heritage inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2012 as a heritage shared with all humanity.

Through several testimonies, the participants praised the efforts made by all the actors to protect, preserve and enhance the cultural heritage of Rabat.

Through this meeting, the Foundation enabled participants, each in their field of intervention, to exchange views and to combine approaches. It was marked by a strong participation via the web platform dedicated to this event.

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Two main recommendations sanctioned this meeting. They relate to:

1- The need to establish an exhaustive archaeological map of the region of Rabat Salé Kenitra covering all the prehistoric and historical phases to face the threats weighing on the archaeological heritage and to integrate the results into heritage protection texts and development plans.

2- The imperative to give particular importance to archaeological research and prospecting with the aim of knowing well in order to better safeguard the national historical heritage.

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