Rabat – Moroccan festival Marrakech du Rire (Laughing Marrakech) has promised the maximum of good humor.The 8th Annual International Humor Festival will kick off June 20 and run until June 24. With several well-known comedians participating in the event, laughter is guaranteed to fill the ochre city throughout the weekend.The best of French and Arabic-speaking comedians will be reunited during these five days. On Wednesday, June 20, Eko and his friends will host the opening Grand Gala, with an Arabic-speaking evening that will bring together a host of comedians, singers, dancers, and actors on the stage of the Badii Palace, in the great secular tradition of the “halqa.” On the same evening, D’jal will present his first new show after five years of selling out his previous show at the Royal Theater. With a brand new energetic show, D’jal’s return to the stage is highly anticipated.On Thursday, the public will attend the second Gala Afrika at the Palais Badii, which will feature French-speaking artists celebrating Cameroonian, Congolese, Senegalese, Gabonese and Ivorian humor, led by the sensational Mamane.At the same time, festival-goers will see Abdelkader Sector at the Royal Theater in a new show at the crossroads of storytelling and a one-man-show.Friday will be the high point of the festival, as the Gala “Jamel and his friends” will gather prestigious guests of the artistic world at the Palais Badii for a show that promises to be exceptional, broadcast worldwide and featuring Ahmed Sylla, Jeff Panacloc, Camille Lellouche or Malik Bentalha, alongside the festival’s creator Jamel Debbouze.Festival-goers will also see the best-of by returning comedic illusionist Eric Antoine at the Royal Theatre.Staying on the Jamaa El-Fna square, the public will live or relive in the Orange stage the new hopes of Moroccan stand-up comedy with the sessions of Jamel Comedy Club Morocco 2018.The comedy festival was founded by Jamel Debbouze in 2011. Each year, several French and Arabic-speaking comedians perform before large audiences in the city of Marrakech, attracting approximately 90,000 festival-goers annually and reaching 70 million viewers worldwide.“Marrakech du Rire 2018” is headed for record-breaking success. According to the festival’s press release, the box office for “Marrakech du Rire 2018,” which opened March 13, has already sold more than 7,000 tickets last month.Tickets for Marrakech du Rire 2018 are still available in various online outlets, such as www.marrakechdurire.com, www.ticketshow.ma, and www.hmizate.ma. For the latecomers, a point of sale will be especially opened during the festival within the Royal Theater of Marrakech.
That dispute, along with another between Germany and Turkey over the Bogazkoy Sphinx currently in a Berlin museum, tops the agenda of a meeting that gets underway tomorrow at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris of the agency’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation.The Committee comprises 22 countries and meets every two years to consider cases brought to its attention. During its 12th session, representatives will discuss principles recently formulated to facilitate the solution of differences over cultural properties displaced during World War II, as well as progress made towards identifying and preserving properties illegally taken out of Afghanistan, so that they can be returned.The Committee will also consider preventive measures to limit illicit trafficking in cultural properties, with one important measure concerning the introduction of inventory forms to standardize the description of art objects and antiquities. Setting up databases which will include information about UNESCO Member States’ national legislation on cultural property, will also be discussed.Since the Committee last met in March 2001, Albania, Barbados, Bhutan, Japan, Rwanda and the United Kingdom have become States Parties to the 1970 Convention concerning the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, brining to 97 the number of States Parties. Denmark, Morocco, Sweden and Switzerland have announced they will ratify the Convention or are in the process of doing so.Meanwhile, Argentina, Cambodia, Norway, Portugal and Spain have ratified the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, raising its total to 18. This convention, which covers private law, complements the UNESCO treaty.The UNESCO Committee, set up in 1980, has no jurisdictional power to rule in disputes between parties. But as a consultative organ, it can offer its good offices to facilitate bilateral negotiations for the restitution or return of cultural properties to their countries of origin. It also encourages the establishing or strengthening of museums in developing countries and the training of scientific and technical staff.