Italian expertise at the service of the restoration of the Tinmel mosque in Morocco

Italian expertise at the service of the restoration of the Tinmel mosque in Morocco
Italian expertise at the service of the restoration of the Tinmel mosque in Morocco

After the terrible earthquake which devastated Al Haouz and reduced several villages in the region to dust on September 8, 2023, efforts are increasing for modern, resilient reconstruction while preserving local cultural identity. To this end, the Superintendence of Chieti, an administrative entity in the eponymous city in Italy, is engaged in the restoration work of the Tinmel mosque in Morocco.

One of Morocco’s most significant architectural gems and a witness to its culture, the Tinmel Mosque was severely damaged during the devastating Al Haouz earthquake. In order to restore it to its former splendor, a prestigious mission was entrusted to the architect Aldo Giorgio Pezzi, thus combining Moroccan authenticity with Italian expertise.

The tremors of the deadly earthquake which ravaged the Kingdom on the night of Friday September 8, 2023 left approximately 3,000 dead and 5,000 injured, but not only that, since the damage affected the historical heritage of the region. In a matter of seconds, centuries of Moroccan history were razed, giving way to great sadness among the region’s inhabitants.

Previously selected by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the Tinmel Mosque could not withstand the strong tremors. Dating back 900 years, it constitutes a jewel of the Talat N’Yacoub region.

Already in October 2023, the Superintendence communicated that, thanks to the intermediary of the Italian Embassy in Morocco, the Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs requested and obtained the presence of an Italian expert within the Ministry of Culture for a first joint assessment of the damage. This approach also aimed to discuss with those in charge of the Directorate of Mosques on subsequent intervention strategies. The architect Aldo Giorgio Pezzi, civil servant of the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the provinces of Chieti and Pescara, born and raised in Morocco, and having already collaborated as a restoration teacher at the school traditional arts of the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, was selected for this mission »we report from the Italian press.

And added: “The three missions which have taken place so far, authorized by the direction of archaeology, fine arts and landscape of the MiC (Ministry of Culture) pending the finalization of a protocol by specific agreement, were carried out during the months of October, November and January by the architect Pezzi. These missions made it possible to share temporary interventions to secure the mosque and recover the rubble, as well as to define overall strategies for recovering the monument..

The Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs requested Italy’s cooperation for the restoration and seismic consolidation of the Tinmel Mosque, a request to which Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italian Minister of Culture, responded by confirming the full availability of the ministry to collaborate. The role of the architect Pezzi will be to coordinate Italian technical support in the recovery of the mosque.

Moroccan experts are not to be outdone, since the day after the earthquake, a jury of experts has traveled to the field to examine the losses and understand the rehabilitation missions. Made up of the Director of Cultural Heritage, engineers and specialists, this team made tireless efforts to carry out this project in order to heal the cracks in the walls and the pain of the residents.

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