French Interior Minister Welcomes Morocco’s Cultural Openness


Rabat – During an official visit to the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI) in Rabat, France’s Minister of Interior Gerard Darmanin welcomed King Mohammed VI’s efforts in promoting cultural openness.

Darmanin also reiterated French President Emmanuel Macron’s wish to maintain “strong” relations with Morocco, which he called a “brother country.”

The French official said that the collaboration between France and Morocco should continue despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Darmanin’s comments follow Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio‘s remarks on Morocco’s “openness to progress and modernity.” During a recent meeting with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rome, the Italian official also heaped praise on Morocco’s history of cultural openness and religious diversity.

Darmanin noted that choosing Morocco and the Maghreb for his first ever international official visit had both real and symbolic meanings. He said his visit constituted yet another expression of France’s attachment to its history and friendship with Morocco.

In response, Mehdi Qotbi, the president of Morocco’s National Foundation of Museums (FNM), said that the French minister’s visit was a “strong cultural message to Moroccans” and the world.

He also stressed that Darmanin’s visit to the Mohammed VI museum “constitutes recognition of the work of King Mohammed VI, who gave a considerable place to culture.”

The visit coincides with the sixth anniversary of the inauguration of the museum, which Qotbi described as “a crowning achievement.”

On the occasion of the Museum’s sixth anniversary, FNM decided to grant free access to its affiliate museums across Morocco from October 12 to 18. Visitors can freely access 13 museums that operate under FNM in several cities in Morocco, including Tangier, Tetouan, Rabat, Sale, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Safi, and Laayoune.

MMVI is currently hosting an exhibit on the history of Moroccan painting. On display are the works of Ben Ali R’bati, one of the earliest painters in Morocco, to art of the present.

As part of a collaboration with the Delacroix Museum in Paris, the Rabat-based museum is also set to host paintings by French painter Eugene Delacroix in April 2021. Delacroix, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries, for painting the famous “Liberty Leading the People” in 1830, is a  household name among art fans.

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