Moroccan authorities demolish Holocaust memorial being built near Marrakech

Moroccan authorities demolished a Holocaust memorial that was being built by a German NGO in Ait Faska, southeast of Marrakesh, allegedly without a permit.

The founder of the PixelHELPER NGO, Oliver Bienkowski, said that all the installations and artworks that had so far been built “were deliberately destroyed by bulldozers,” and the rainbow blocks at the entrance, which memorialize LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust, were also desecrated. He added that the “water and power lines have been cut.”

Moroccan authorities denied in a press statement that the memorial was being built, adding that such claims were “unfounded.”

“Information conveyed by certain electronic sites and on social networks about the establishment of a project by a foreign national including a museum and several facilities as well as a memorial in the form of art paintings, in the commune of Ait Faska, in Al Haouz province, are without any foundation,” the local authorities of Al Haouz province claimed.

“The relevant services in this province have not granted any authorization for the establishment of such a project.”

The authorities added that “the establishment of such a project follows regulatory procedures and requires the obtaining of existing administrative approvals.”

According to journalists, at Yabiladi the Interior Ministry had said the PixelHELPER did not get the authorization it needed from the Culture Ministry.

Bienkowski claimed that authorities were aware that the memorial was being built, but had “declined to cooperate”.

“Unfortunately, from the beginning, the authorities refused any cooperation and, during the first year, all requests for meetings were rejected by the mayor,” he said.

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