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Oscar Niemeyer in Essaouira

When you hear the name Oscar Niemeyer, lots of things come to mind namely the city Brasilia, which he conceived, his many iconic buildings and his strong belief in the leftist political ideology (he had to go into exile under the Vargas regime, to avoid prosecution). Essaouira could be the next thing that you think of; next time you hear the name Oscar Niemeyer. Before he passed away at the end of last year he designed a cultural centre in Essaouira (Centre Culturel Mogador), this was his last project.

This project began during a conversation between the king’s advisor André Azoulay (a native of Essaouira) and the Brazilian ambassador in Morocco, Frederico Duque Estrada Meyer. During last year’s Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira, the minister of culture, Mohamed Amine Sbihi and the minister of housing, Nabil Benabdellah signed a convention for the creation of this cultural center in Essaouira. Days after Oscar Niemeyer confirmed his enthusiasm and involvement in the project.

He then provided the concept, a form inspired by the wingspan of a seagull flying over the city’s shoreline. The center will house a library of local literature and music, as well as an amphitheatre for 300 people; Rachid Andaloussi, an important figure in modern Moroccan architecture, will manage the project on site.

Another proof of how Essaouira continues to charm and fascinate the world, we cannot wait to see the evolvement of this project.

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