Rabat celebrates ten years of UNESCO World Heritage Listing
“Rabat, Heritage of Humanity”: The urban exhibition rediscovering Rabat’s listed heritage from a different angle.
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Chair of the Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat, inaugurated the “Rabat, Heritage of Humanity” urban exhibition, celebrating 10 years of inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at Bab el Bahr Square, on Rabat’s riverfront, on January 8, 2023.
This exhibition promotes the city’s great history, as expressed in monuments, urban planning, landscape and material and immaterial heritage. It revisits this history and heritage with new photographs, local history, and encounters with great historical figures, altering the collective perception of the city and forging an awareness that encompasses nearly two millennia of history. The Foundation, mandated to promote the cultural heritage of Rabat, held the exhibition for the general public to enhance people’s understanding of the city’s world heritage and raise awareness on the importance of safeguarding it.
Special emphasis is put on the work of Moroccan craftsmen, as custodians of a long tradition of decorative arts dating back to the Almohad period and extending into the modern era, where earlier traditions blend with 20th century architecture.
The exhibition highlights all eight components of the Rabat World Heritage Site: the new 20th century city, the Diour Jamaa Habous district, the Botanical Gardens, the Medina of Rabat, the Almohad walls and gates, the Hassan Mosque and the Mohammed V Mausoleum, the Qasba of the Udayas and the archaeological site of Chellah.
Beyond the exhibition, the Foundation invites visitors to continue exploring the city with podcasts featuring prominent public figures and experts from different generations recounting Rabat and its memorable landmarks, its history and culture, and sharing their own memories, thereby creating a previously undocumented collective memory. These podcasts are available on the website of the Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat (https://fspcrabat.ma/podcasts/ ).
The exhibition runs from January 8, 2023 at Place Bab el Bahr, Avenue El Marsa.
Upcoming exhibition venues will be published on the Foundation’s website (www.fspcrabat.ma)
About the Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat.
The Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat was created by His Majesty King Mohamed VI to preserve the material, immaterial and landscape heritage of the city of Rabat. “Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage” with eight major historical sites has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, who chairs the Foundation, defined and initiated a comprehensive policy to raise the awareness of both inhabitants and visitors. A city’s heritage is only preserved sustainably when its population appreciates its value and takes ownership thereof.
The Foundation develops programs around three main pillars – educating, raising awareness and bringing people together. A powerful catalyst for inclusion and cohesion, Rabat’s heritage is a genuine driver of social, economic and cultural development. The Foundation regularly runs heritage discovery programs for the general public, especially targeting young people, to build an emotional connection that ensures respect for and preservation of this heritage.
Foundation programs target a variety of audiences, including the general public, professionals, institutions, private actors, and young people. As part of its educational programs, the Foundation develops educational kits, cultural heritage mediation platforms with the “Heritage Digitalization” program, in addition to hosting scientific workshops. Experts from all continents are invited to share, exchange, and advance the valuable cause of preserving cultural heritage in Morocco.
This work, carried out in a collaborative approach, combines expertise and resources, and brings together institutional, public and private actors to assert the importance of heritage protection in the Kingdom.