Morocco Inaugurates Restored Zellige Fountain at IAEA Headquarters

Traditional Moroccan tiles are known as zellige. Photo: Azzeddine Farhane/Twitter

Rabat – Morocco and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have restored and inaugurated the traditional Moroccan fountain at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna. 

Morocco originally donated the beautiful tiled fountain in 1997 to commemorate the IAEA’s 40th anniversary. Over time, a water leakage damaged parts of the traditional Moroccan tiles, known as zellige. 

The fountain’s restoration coincides with Morocco’s election as president of the 64th General Conference of the IAEA. 

IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi and the Moroccan Ambassador to Austria Azzeddine Farhane, who is acting on behalf of the country in its presidential role, inaugurated the fountain on Monday.  

“The joint restoration reflects the partnership and commitment of Morocco and the IAEA in promoting Atoms for peace and development,” Ambassador Farhane wrote on Twitter. 

“This active cooperation with the IAEA is one of many and of great importance to Morocco,” he wrote in another tweet. 

In English and Arabic tweets, Grossi said he was “glad to participate in the opening of the restoration of the Moroccan Fountain with the President of the IAEA General Conference, Ambassador Azzeddine Farhane.”

On Monday, Morocco was elected president of the General Conference. 

In a special address during the opening session of the conference, Ambassador Farhane thanked the IAEA for the appointment, conveying his “deep gratitude” to IAEA’s African member states for their “unanimous support” of his candidacy. 

For his part, Grossi said in his opening speech that Morocco’s appointment reflects the country’s commitment to world peace

“The election of Morocco, an African country which has been engaged for years in non-proliferation efforts, at the head of this great world event, is a good testimony of its constructive commitment to peace in the world,” the director-general said.

“I am delighted as director-general to be able to count on the Moroccan presidency for the whole year which opens until next year in order to support and accentuate the work of the IAEA,” he continued. “Well done Morocco… we are very grateful!”

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