Rabat – Morocco’s National Museum Foundation (FMN) is set to strengthen its partnership with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO, formerly ISESCO) and improve cultural cooperation.
FNM President Mehdi Qotbi and ICESCO Director-General Salim ben Mohammed Al-Malik reached the agreement on Thursday, according to Morocco’s state media.
ICESCO Director-General Salim ben Mohammed Al-Malik and FNM President Mehdi Qotbi. Photo: MAP
Al-Malik headed an ICESCO delegation that traveled to Rabat this week to celebrate the closing of Museums Week in the Islamic World, which ran from September 26 to October 2.
While in the Moroccan capital, the ICESCO director-general paid a visit to the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art alongside Qotbi.
Discussions with Qotbi produced an agreement to revive the partnership between FMN and ICESCO.
In particular, the two cultural authorities aim to boost cooperation to realize the Jemaa El Fna Museum project in Marrakech. The initiative “is a strong message of support for the ochre city, the beating heart of Moroccan tourism,” Qotbi said.
The two partners also seek to organize a colloquium in Rabat for the benefit of national curators of Islamic countries.
Morocco also wants to create a “Eugene Delacroix Porcelain Museum” at the ICESCO headquarters.
Eugene Delacroix was a French Romantic artist who lived from 1798 to 1863. In 1832, Delacroix spent six months in North Africa as part of a French diplomatic mission to Morocco. He filled seven sketchbooks with pencil and watercolor drawings of the people he saw and the places he visited, and his work is well-known in Morocco.
Sketches of Meknes, Morocco by Eugene Delacroix.
Speaking to the country’s state media, Al-Malik welcomed the renewed cooperation with Morocco as “a new take-off for museums in Islamic countries, able to promote Islamic identity in new aspects and a new culture that appeals to new generations in the post-COVID-19 world.”
Qotbi, meanwhile, said Morocco “is now a model to follow in the cultural field” after the director-general’s productive visit to Rabat.
He added that Al-Malik’s visit to Rabat has made it possible for ICESCO to join Morocco in organizing the “Delacroix: Return to Morocco” exhibition, which the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art intends to host in April 2021.
In celebration of the visit to Rabat, ICESCO curated a virtual exhibit of the “most important masterpieces” that the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has showcased since its establishment in 2014.
The “Virtual Museum of the National Museum Foundation” includes works of artists from around the world and is available at fnm.visite360.ma.