The Royal government of Morocco will fund a €6.7m Moroccan Cultural Centre, due to open in Paris in late 2018, Le Monde reports
. The plan was announced on Wednesday, 17 February at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, in the presence of the King of Morocco Mohammed VI and the French president François Hollande.
The architect, Tarik Oualalou, has been working with the Paris mayor’s office and other government bureaus for two years on the project. An earlier plan for a cultural centre in Mantes-la-Jolie, a western suburb of Paris, was abandoned in 2012.
An eight-storey building with 1,400 sq. m of usable space is planned for a disused site on the boulevard Saint-Michel in Paris’s Latin Quarter, owned by the Kingdom of Morocco. It will involve demolishing the current structure, which housed the Association des étudiants musulmans nord-africains (Association of Muslim North African Students) until the 1980s.
Around a third of the spaces will be accessible to the public, including a ground-floor café, an auditorium and a library. The centre plans to show five exhibitions per year in its gallery space and has a €1.5m estimated annual operating budget. Oualalou says “the future centre aims to be, in France, the outreach of contemporary Moroccan culture… in music, theatre, painting, photography, poetry and street art”.