The Seat of Fez
The project of the seat of Fez began in 2005, in order to underline the role of the Foundation as relevant actor in the promotion of dialogue between cultures and populations.
The choice of being in Morocco, in particular inside the imperial town of Fez, which enshrines one of the most ancient and elegant culture of the Islamic World, is not casual, especially considering these times, in which the Arabic World and Islam are in the spotlight and often exposed to the risk of being victim of stereotypes and prejudices by the public opinion. (?)
Morocco represents an interlocutor of great relevance for Europe for the confrontation among the populations of the Mediterranean area. Moreover Fez, a protected UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, allows passionate travellers to fully get the charm and the richness of authentic art and culture.
In this context, accordingly to its statutory goals, the Ducci Foundation is willing to give its contribution to the promotion of dialogue between Europe – above all Italy - and Morocco, trough the opening of the Kassr Annoujoum.
Its aim is letting the differences in culture, values and religions being sources of enrichment, so that the notion of tolerance – the passive behaviour of people bearing another culture – could be replaced with the more constructive one of curiosity and positive contact with diversities.
In order to fulfil this task, the Moroccan seat has been designated to host young researchers from different European Countries, promoting confrontation between them and their Moroccan colleagues, and if possible, from the whole Magrheb Area.
Architectural and artistic mentions
The Kassr Annoujoum dates back to the first half of the XIX century. It is situated in the Medina’s smart districts and it has been built by the aristocratic family of Belghiti Alaoui, encompassing some ancient buildings. The Belghiti Alaouis dwelled in the Kassr Annoujoum until the ‘50s, when it was bought by a family of merchants.
The Kassr Annoujoum Palace is characterized by a rectangular plant. It consists in three main structures, the facades of which overlook the big internal courtyard, closed on its fourth side by a wall decorated with wonderful majolica mosaics (zellig) and columns, while a wonderful Carrara marble fountain stands in the centre of the court. The loggias delimit the courtyard, each one leaning on four wide columns, decorated with multicolour ceramics
An exceptionally large staircase, uncommon for the architectural style of the time, leads to the upper floors.
Several rooms overlook the staircase, which crosses two halls, the one on the first and the other on the second floor, both enriched by wall-fountain.
Another room, from which several corridors leading to the bedrooms branch out links the second hall with a wide living room. This living room is enriched with a black and white marble floor and with a black marble and multicolour ceramics lambris.
Every living room and some rooms are adorned with cedar timber ceilings and walls decorated with stuccos.
The big balconies give a wonderful 360° sight over the medina, the suburbs, the ancient Marinid graves and over a part of the old city walls. There have been made important consolidation works, before starting the conservative restoration, based on a historical research about the architecture of the building, which, without modifying its original structure, made it perfectly suitable for the activities of the Foundation