International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State. * Original text in French. Uploaded: 06/2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of Morocco

Morocco holds a very rich and diversified cultural heritage which encompasses in addition to the monuments, the sites, the archaeological findings and the museum collections, a mixed immaterial heritage. This historical legacy sets its roots in the Amazigh, Arabe-Islamic, Andalucian, African, Jewish, Phoenician, Carthageneous and Roman collections.

The oldest archeological remains discovered in Morocco date back to prehistorical times, a period dating approximately to a million years ago. Since then, the country has witnessed the succession of various civilazations (Pebble culture, Acheulean, Mousterian, Aterian, Ibero-Maurusian, Neolithic and Protohistory. The most important sites where these civilazations are recorded are Casablanca (Sidi Abderrahmn, Thomas 1, etc.) Tafoghalt, Rouaxi-Skhirat, Mzora and the rock carvings of the Atlas and of the pre-Saharian and Saharian Morocco.

Traces of the ancient world go back to the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Mauro-Roman Kingdom and the Romans. These civilazations settled in many different sites namely Lixus, Mogador, Volubilis, Sala, Banasa, Thamusida, Tamuda, etc.

The Islamic period saw the unfolding of several dynasties: first the muslims principalities, Idrissides, Almoravides, Almohades, Merinides, Wattassides, Saadiens et Alaouites. Many sites and monuments testify the grandeur of these dynasties like for example: Sijilmassa, AI Basra, Aghmat, l'amdoult, Qsar Es Sghir, Belyounech, etc.

The immovable heritage takes into account architectural and monumental heritage of immense value; this richness can be seen in the Moroccan medina with its urban, religious architectual, military, domestic and public usage components in modern architecture of the 20th century along with the rural architecture found in the villages perched on the Rif, the pre-Rif, the Middle Atlas, the kasbahs, the ksours and the igoudar or the ‘’greniers collectifs’’ widespread in the Atlas and in the South-West. The immovable heritage also concerns the natural sites including the cultural landscapes: the middle valley of the Draa, the valley of the Ziz, the oasis of the Fifuifm the valley of d'Ait Bouguemmaz, the rock art sites of Toukaimeden and Yagour.

The movable heritage encompasses the archaeological remains (stone, earth, metals, glass, ivory, etc.) and the objects with an ethongraphical connotation, the craft works, the archives and the manuscripts, the private and public collections that carry a national and/or universal value. Public museums store very rich permanent collections which cover roughly 200 000 years of history. On the other hand, the libraries and the Habous collections are overflowing with manuscripts that carry a high historical, scientific, cultural and spiritual value.

The immaterial cultural heritage also takes into account among others the arts of theatre, the traditions and the oral expressions, the music and the traditional dances, the festivlas and the ‘’moussems’’ as well as the arts, the savoir faire and the traditional games. The instruments, the objects, the artifacts and the cultural spaces associated with the above are also all part of the immaterial cultural heritage.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

The protection and conservation of the immovable and movable cultural heritage as of 1912 is subject to a legislation that has been revised already several times (Dahir of 13 February 1914 and Dahir of 21 July 1945) while the last one dated 1980 (Dahir of 25 december 1980) finalized by the Dahir on 15 June 2006, declaring the law 19-05 concerning movable heritage. These different legislations take into account procedures for classifying and registring immovable and movable heritage which hold a special interest for Art, pre-history or the Moroccan civilization as a whole. In this respect 399 properites of immovable heritage (sites, monuments, landscapes) have been classified or registered as historical national monuments and 235 museum objects have been recorded on the national list of movable heritage.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

Nowadays, Morocco has nine properties inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and thirteen sites inscribed on the tentative list. In addition, Morocco has five elements of its heritage inscribed in the list constituing the immaterial heritage namely: The cultural space of the Jamaa El Fna square; the moussem of Tan Tan; the Mediterranean diet; the falconry; and the cherry moussem in Sefrou.

Adhesion to ICCROM

Morocco is a Member State of ICCROM since 24/04/1958


Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1960-1965: Ahmed Sefrioui
  • 1981-1986: Driss Ait-Salah
  • 1986-1988: Abdlmalek Fizazi
  • 1988-1995: Naïma El Khatib Boujibar

ICCROM Staff since 1959: - None -

Involvement of Moroccan Nationals

Activities in/with Morocco since 2002

Activities details

Activities details

  • 2002 - 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2005 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2008 - 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2009 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2011 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2012 - 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2013 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2015 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2016 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2017 - 1 Course(s), 3 Mission(s)
  • 2018 - 3 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2019 - 1 Course(s), 4 Mission(s)

External links

* ICCROM reserves the right to moderate the content provided by Member States for country profiles to ensure that they remain within the scope of ICCROM’s mission and pertinent to cultural heritage. However, ICCROM does not take responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content supplied. The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the Member States.