New Photography Museum Planned for Marrakech

El Badi Palace is a popular tourist attraction in Marrakech, and although the building has been reduced to ruins, visitors can still get a sense of how magnificent it once was. From September through to early November the works of ten contemporary Moroccan photographers, including the highly successful Leila Sadel and Hichan Gardaf, will be exhibited at El Badi Palace, giving visitors yet another reason to explore this fascinating historical landmark. The exhibition is the start of a grander plan to develop a purpose-built museum that will be dedicated to the multi-faceted art of photography.

The new museum, to be called the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts, is set to be constructed near the city’s 12th century Menara Gardens, with the opening date scheduled for early-2016. Renowned London-based architect, David Chipperfield, will be designing the museum. Other museums and landmark buildings designed by the award-winning architect include the Frigge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, USA; the Museum of Modern Literature in Marback, Germany; the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK; and the Liangzhu Culture Museum in Hangzhou, China.

The project will reportedly be supported by private and corporate sources and will be dedicated to three specific genres of photography, being Fashion and Culture; Photojournalism; and Architecture and Design. In addition to providing a platform to promote photography and visual arts for both local and international lens-based artists, the museum intends to partner with the University of Arizona to launch a scholarship program giving Moroccan students the opportunity to enroll in museum study courses at educational institutions worldwide.

Visitors to the new Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts should take the time to stroll through the charming Menara Gardens. Built during the reign of Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu’min, the gardens were meant to be an oasis of tranquility for the people – and they remain such today. Certainly it is an attraction well worth visiting in the vibrant city of Marrakech.