1.         Medina of Fez (Morocco) (C 170)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (ii)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 42,200
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Following the decision taken during the 27th session of the Committee, the World Heritage Centre organized, in close cooperation with the State Party, a reactive monitoring mission to the Medina of Fez on 23 and 24 July 2003.  The mission confirmed that the destruction of the concrete paving covering the Oued Boukhrareb crossing the Medina of Fez, followed by the rehabilitation and re-development of the area, are urgent issues recognized by all the authorities of the city.


A sanitary improvement project for the city of Fez was commenced a year ago with financial assistance from the World Bank.  According to the President of the Urban Community, this project foresees the connection of the entire city, including the Medina, to the main sewage system.  Unfortunately, the World Bank project for the rehabilitation of the Medina, does not include the cleaning up the Oued.


Other interventions having a negative impact on the values of the property, such as illegal constructions near the Borj Sud, and notably on the balance between the urban tissue and its environment, demonstrate the difficulty experienced by the Inspection of Historic Monuments of Fez in controlling the activities of the different actors, and in intervening.


In January 2004, however, the Moroccan authorities informed the Centre that the removal of the paving was programmed for end April 2004. On 20 April 2004, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that a technical commission comprising all the partners concerned had been constituted.  Meetings of the Commission were held on 18 February, 11 March and 12 April 2004 and resulted in the following recommendations:


a)       Need to elaborate two technical studies to identify adequate procedures for the demolition of the concrete cover and to identify the measures to be taken for the redevelopment of the Oued Boukhrareb and its surroundings;


b)       Finalization of the waste water evacuation in the sewerages on both sides of the Oued before 15 April 2004;


c)       Designation of an appropriate consultancy firm and contractor in view of the launching of the   work by 30 April 2004;


d)       All costs for the studies and demolition work to be jointly covered by the Urban Community of Fez and the Urban Agency for the Safeguarding of the City of Fez (ADER-Fez). 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.52

The World Heritage Committee, 1. Invites the State Party to urgently undertake the demolition of the cement paving and the sanitary work in the framework of a project for the redevelopment and enhancement of the Oued and its surroundings; 2. Calls upon the State Party to identify financial resources to develop the final project, in close coordination with the rehabilitation project for the City of Fez in the framework of the World Bank programme; 3. Requests the State Party to associate the Delegation for Culture of Fez with all the activities taking place in the Medina and notably those of the Urban Agency and ADER-Fez, to prepare the technical specifications which will become an integral part of the Urban Development Plan in force; 4. Reminds the State Party that the surroundings of the Medina should be maintained as a non-aedificandi zone.