1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Organizes Limited Edition Print Sale for Earthquake-Stricken Morocco Relief

The leading fair for artists and art dealers from the African continent, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, is organizing a project for both artists and institutions to raise money to help fund relief and the rebuilding of the Marrakesh Medina, which along with multiple sites in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains was devastated last week by a massive earthquake.

According to The Art Newspaper, the fair is in conversation with several Moroccan artists who will make limited-edition prints, the proceeds of which will go towards organizations who are on the ground and who will be working on rebuilding the centuries-old Medina.

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Touria El Glaoui, 1-54’s founding director, told TAN that the fair plans to work with partners in the area, which include the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, the Montresso* Art Foundation, and Musée Yves Saint Laurent, on long-term reconstruction plans.

“We urge tourists to not be deterred from visiting Morocco and experiencing its vibrant and diverse cultural scene as this will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery,” 1-54 said in a statement. “Although the impact of the earthquake has been devastating, relief and reconstruction efforts are under way and much of Marrakech is thankfully still standing.”

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.8, was the strongest to hit the area in over a century. The earthquake struck the Atlas Mountains just after 11 p.m. on Friday night. The resulting shockwaves toppled ancient mosques, and left residents of the historic Marrakesh out on the street for fear their homes would crumble with them inside. Parts of the wall that encircles the ancient part of the city toppled over and reports said some areas were roped off for public safety. 

Meanwhile, the modern part of the city remained for the most part unscathed. According to CNN, when, on Sunday, much of the rubble in the Medina had been gathered up and placed into tall piled of brick, dust, and refuse, restaurants and cafes in the modern part of the city were getting ready to open for business.

As of the publication of this story, more than 2,800 people have been killed and 2,500 injured, according to Moroccan state media, CNN reports.

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