Morocco/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

The following are the types of key partnerships between the MoC and all parties involved in cultural development in the last decade:

  • Cultural partnership and cooperation agreements with local groups.
  • International cultural cooperation agreements.
  • Cultural partnership and cooperation agreements with the private sector.
  • Cultural partnership and cooperation with local groups.


Before addressing this issue, the following is the main culture-related legislation in Morocco:

Decision 1.02.297 (3 Oct. 2002) implemented Law 78.00 (passed in 2002). The law, which deals with the collective council, is considered the first to clearly define the role of local groups to ensure the economic, social and cultural development process.

Article 41 of this decision stipulates that the collective council shall:


  • Participate in implementing, maintaining and providing social, cultural and sporting equipment, particularly cultural vehicles, collective libraries, museums, theatres, art and music institutions and kindergartens.
  • With the assistance of all public bodies in charge of culture, youth, sport and social work, take all necessary measures to revive social, cultural and sporting activities.
  • Promote all social, cultural and sporting associations and organisations.
  • Preserve and revive local cultural specificities.


Article 35 of this decision stipulates that the Council shall help preserve, rehabilitate and boost the value of natural sites, and historical, cultural and artistic heritage. Accordingly, local councils are directly involved in reviving local cultural affairs. The MoC encourages local initiatives that seek to preserve the diverse sources of Moroccan culture. It encourages creativity in all forms of cultural and artistic innovation.

Local groups have become a key foundation upon which the MoC relies to achieve cultural decentralisation. By involving them in planning, programming and implementing cultural projects it reduces the cultural disparity between areas, supporting regional specificities.

One of the priorities of the Cultural Development Plan (2000-2004) is cooperation and partnership between the MoC and all parties involved in cultural development—government sectors, elected councils and civil society institutions—to achieve an integrated national cultural revival, raise the level of cultural services, improve working conditions, consolidate a cultural policy primarily based on decentralisation, encourage regional decision-making and give priority to rural and remote areas.

Cooperation between the MoC and local groups is conducted via partnership agreements stipulating the coordination between the two sides. These agreements concern organising local cultural events, creating and managing local cultural institutions, implementing the laws in force pertaining to preserving cultural heritage, and cooperating to restore and maintain historical sites.

The Pubic Reading Project (which created 11 médiathèques) launched in 2003 and is one of the most important accomplishments achieved through partnership between the MoC and local groups.

International Cultural Cooperation Agreements

The MoC’s work strategy is based on reinforcing cultural relations between Morocco and other countries and organisations to introduce Morocco's deeply rooted heritage and dynamic development to the world. To this end, Morocco has myriad cultural agreements with many Arab and foreign countries.

Thanks to its rich history and geographic location, Morocco was able to negotiate various EU-funded cultural and scientific programs since 2002.

The EU-Morocco Association has developed steadily since the first trade agreements were signed with the former European Market in 1969. These later developed into an association agreement signed in 1996 and implemented in 2000. This agreement stipulates:

  • Enhanced dialogue between cultures through boosting language-teaching and spreading Moroccan culture within the EU.
  • Support for the creation of Moroccan-EU cultural facilities.
  • Intensified Moroccan participation in Euro-Med cultural cooperation agreements related to cultural heritage and the A-V industry.
  • Increased exchange of expertise on cultural plurality and intercultural dialogue.

In the 4th meeting of the Mini Committee on Research and Invocation (a committee stipulated by the 1996 Association Agreement), held on 13 November, 2007, an evaluation report was presented by the Moroccan delegation on the participation of the MoC in EU programs. The main goals presented in the evaluation were to:

  • Create culture houses in all parts of Morocco according to the MEDA Program.
  • Complete DELTA and QANTRA projects for Moroccan cultural heritage programs to manage administrative structures.
  • Hold many events in both Europe and Morocco to increase cultural and artistic exchange.

The largest future determinant of MoC strategy comes from EU neighbourhood policy to:

  • Qualify the existing cultural institutions and create new ones.
  • Boost archaeological research and create labs to restore cultural assets.
  • Create art education workshops and consolidate the role of culture.

The EU recently asked Morocco to ratify the UN Cultural Diversity Convention (this convention was certified in 2008).  When drawing up the budget for 2012, the MoC set aside MD 7.7 million for cultural diplomacy, which highlights Moroccan identity and civilisation and enriches Moroccan cultural production. 

Cultural Partnership and Cooperation with the Private Sector

Several private institutions have been involved in the preservation and restoration of archaeological sites during the past few years, most notably the Mezian Banjalon Foundation, Omar Banjalon Foundation, Kareem Al-Omrani Foundation, ONA Foundation and the Addoha Foundation.

The key accomplishments achieved by these foundations themselves or in cooperation with other institutions include:

  • Restoring the Bounaya School in Fes.
  • Restoring the Walili historical site in partnership with the MoC.
  • Restoring and rehabilitating the Tanmul Mosque in partnership with Afriquia and Somepi groups and the Archaeological Institute in Madrid.
  • Restoring ancient houses and doors in Fes in partnership with the Local Groups Directorate affiliated to the Ministry of Interior, Handicrafts Department and the Twelve Centuries for Fes Foundation.

In addition to the 16 museums affiliated with the MoC and the five affiliated with other public or quasi-public bodies, private institutions have funded 11 museums of all types, including the:

  • Bois Museum in Fes
  • Villa des Arts, Arts Contemporains Museum in Casablanca
  • Ethnographique Museum in Casablanca
  • Ethno–Archéologique Museum in Basla
  • Majorelle Ethnographique Museum in Marrakech
  • Ethno-Archéologique et Arts Contemporains Museum in Marrakech
  • Ethnographique-Peinture Museum (American Commission) in Tangier
  • Forbs Museum (Miniatures de Guerriers) in Tangier
  • Laurain Museum (Traditions Judaïses) in Tangier
  • Peinture Museum in Tangier
  • Bert Flint Museum (Ethnographique) in Marrakech

Private museums are subject to Law 22.89 (amended by Law 19.05, official gazette, issue no. 5435, 15 July, 2006) pertaining to the preservation of historical buildings, vistas, inscriptions, art pieces and antiquities.

Chapter published: 05-05-2016