Marrakech’s Precious Old Town Rocked by Earthquake, Urgent Restoration Efforts Underway to Save Architectural Gems

by MMC
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Rabat, Morocco – (African Boulevard News) – The ancient Moroccan city of Marrakech, known for its bustling markets and stunning architecture, was recently hit by a powerful earthquake that led architects to assess the damage to the old town of the city, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The 12th-century walls surrounding the 1,000-year-old city have been partly disfigured, leaving experts worried about the future of this valuable historic site.

However, not all buildings were on equal footing when the earthquake struck. While some structures remained relatively unscathed, others suffered the brunt of the destruction. Architects and engineers are now working around the clock to assess the damage, identify areas of concern, and formulate restoration and preservation plans.

The earthquake highlighted the resilience of historic structures in the old city of Marrakech. Despite centuries of wear and tear, these buildings have stood the test of time. However, the earthquake has now revealed the vulnerabilities of some architectural treasures.

Buildings B which have retained their original structures, such as the famous Koutoubia mosque, seem to have resisted the earthquake better. However, other historic sites, including riads and traditional palaces, suffered significant damage. The impact extends beyond the physical structures themselves and poses a threat to the cultural heritage and identity of Marrakech.

Architects and conservationists face the daunting task of balancing preservation with the need for modern safety standards. While it is crucial to preserve the unique character and authenticity of the old town, ensuring the safety of its residents and visitors is of paramount importance.

Ahmed El Haddad, an architect involved in the assessment, stressed the importance of understanding the historical context of buildings. He stressed that traditional building techniques and materials, such as rammed earth and decorative plaster, must be taken into account when developing restoration strategies.

El Haddad also stressed the importance of involving local communities in the restoration process. “Preserving the old town of Marrakech is not just about saving buildings; it’s about preserving a way of life,” he said. “Community input is crucial to ensuring that restoration efforts are sensitive to the needs and desires of the people who call this place home.”

The Marrakech earthquake serves as a wake-up call for cities around the world with rich architectural heritage. It reminds us that the past cannot be taken for granted and that proactive steps must be taken to safeguard these treasures for future generations.

As architects and conservationists continue their assessments, the Moroccan government has pledged support for restoration efforts. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism have already started mobilizing resources and coordinating with international organizations to ensure the preservation of the old city of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The road to reconstruction will be long and difficult, but with careful planning, expertise and community involvement, the old city of Marrakech will be able to emerge from the rubble and continue to enchant visitors with its rich history and architectural splendor .

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Editor from Morocco

The African Boulevard Africain editorial team brings you news from Morocco and the latest headlines in politics, economics, business, investment and entertainment. We are impartial, motivated solely by the quest for truth.

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