SOC: Medina of Fez (Morocco)
VII.45 Medina of Fez (Morocco)
The Committee followed with interest the Moroccan Government's efforts for the preservation of the Medina of Fez, which made it a model for the protection of Islamic cities.
Nevertheless, according to the Secretariat's report, it appears that the urban development projects undertaken in 1994 and 1995 and which consist among others of demolishing parts of the Medina to make way for tarmac roads, completely ignore the principles for preservation as defined in the World Heritage Convention. Consequently, the Committee expressed its grave concern with regard to these projects which appear still to be underway and for the destruction of the Ain Azliten area.
Having taken note of the oral information given by the Delegate of Morocco according to whom no other action of this kind has since been carried out, the Committee recalled the terms of the Declaration of Fez, adopted during the 146th closing session of the Executive Board of UNESCO, held in Fez, on 3 and 4 June 1995, which stressed that too many examples throughout the world have unfortunately shown that the brutal intrusion of the automobile has had an irremediably destructive effect on the social and urban fabric of historic cities.
Consequently, the Committee expressed its wish that the national authorities would undertake all necessary measures to immediately halt all new demolition projects. It announced its willingness to encourage the setting up, with the help of international experts if necessary, of an integrated plan which would take account of the different cultural, architectural, sociological, technical and financial aspects for urban rehabilitation, and measuring the potential impacts on the multiple aspects of world heritage values in the Medina.
The Committee invited the national authorities to keep them informed, through its Secretariat, before 1 April 1996, of the situation and the measures undertaken to ensure the long-term preservation of the cultural heritage in all its dimensions in the Medina of Fez.