March 25, 2023

Numerous associative activities aim to revive the momentum aimed at sabotaging many archaeological sites in Morocco. In the face of repeated scenes of disdain for these archaeological sites, the latest of which is the Wahira site in Zagora province, professors and collective leaders have come forward to demand that cultural heritage be preserved from threats that could lead to its disappearance. soon.

Cultural associations have condemned the growing rate of vandalism affecting archeological rock art sites in Morocco, resulting in the loss of much information about ancient history and civilization. Such shameful acts also damage Morocco’s reputation internationally, as it is a signatory to a number of international conventions for the protection of cultural heritage (eg the 1972 UNESCO Paris Convention).

The signatories to the application received by Hespress, a copy of it, demanded that the Legacy Bill be updated and submitted for approval after being restricted by the General Secretariat of the Government since 2013, knowing that Law 22-80 has become outdated and out of line with modern trends. .

The same civil society organizations appealed to the Presidium of the Government and the Ministry of Youth and Culture with a request to provide material and human resources to the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the National Park of Petroglyphs and its representatives in the southern regions, regional provinces of cultural heritage, as well as regional inspectors for historical buildings and objects for exercising their powers.

The same source applied to the competent state authorities (Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communications, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Technology and Water Resources, Ministry of National Preparation of the Territory and Construction, National Administration hydrocarbons and minerals…) to take responsibility for stopping the sharply accelerated sabotage process, which poses an alarming threat to the archaeological heritage (especially in the southern and eastern regions).

The associations stressed the need to control records related to projects (roads, art installations, quarries, etc.) and the application of the law, especially with regard to the completion of an impact and impact study (étude d’impact), which should include a section on potential impact works on archaeological sites, as well as coordination with the cultural sector at regional and regional meetings in order to express an opinion.

In the same context, the associations called on provincial workers and mud team leaders to work to ensure that trucks do not use archaeological sites as quarries, as this phenomenon has caused damage to a significant number of rock art sites and burial structures. monuments in Morocco.

Abdelhadi Wak, a university professor specializing in petroglyphs, wrote that Morocco is rich in archaeological sites and that its soil field is vast, stressing that vandalism against these monuments has increased in recent years, although this often happens unintentionally. .

In a statement to Hespress, Wack called for addressing the issue by raising awareness of the importance of these archaeological sites, as well as improving the protective legal arsenal given that currently available legal texts have been repealed, noting that “the heritage bill has been in preparation since 2013, but did not go beyond the General Secretariat of the Government.

The spokesman emphasized that “the new law also needs to be revised, but this is at least a stepping stone to circumventing the 1980 law”, noting in the same context that “the budget problem of the Ministry of Culture undermines interest in these objects, and a number of governors in charge of for monitoring historical buildings, there are no necessary resources.” A company car that makes it difficult for them to move around.”

And the spokesman added that “there is no updated list of archaeological sites in the Ministry of Culture, and therefore it is difficult to talk about a protection strategy”, emphasizing “the need to involve everyone in the process of protection”, given that “the main condition for achieving this is the inclusion of archaeological sites in tourist map. culture and benefit of the local population.

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