Jacques Majorelle's auction in Paris and Marrakech

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From Orientalism to colonialism and independence, the double auction draws on 120 years of African art, with more than 70 works up for bidding.

The French artist Jacques Majorelle was born in 1886 in Nancy and died in 1962 in Paris, but the most productive period of his life were the three decades he spent in voluntary exile in Marrakech.

Although his artworks, depicting scenes from Moroccan everyday life, markets, folk festivals and rituals, were forgotten after his death, they have become very popular over the last decade. The renewed interest culminated at a small, special exhibition at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech (mYSLm) this October.

It was the famous fashion designer who bought Majorelle's deserted estate "Jardin Majorelle" in the former Moroccan capital in 1980, restored it and turned it into a visitor attraction.

After his death, Yves Saint Laurent had his ashes scattered in the gardens.

Colors and shapes of North Africa

Eleven of Majorelle's paintings are part of the double auction "Majorelle and his contemporaries" and "African Spirit" taking place simultaneously on December 30 in Paris and Marrakech.

Organized by the French auction house Artcurial, the sale includes two of his most famous paintings: "Le marché aux dattes" (The Date Market), created between 1940 and 1945, and "Les Allamattes," which renders a scene from a folk festival where women from Marrakech carry life-size dolls through the streets to pay homage to the Pasha of Marrakech.

Both canvases are estimated to sell for 200,000 to 300,000 euros. ($239,000-358,000)

In contrast to Majorelle's works, the canvases by European artists and Orientalists of the late 19th century are full of colonial influence and romanticizing realism.

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Yves Saint Laurent Museum Opens in Marrakech

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The Yves Saint Laurent museum opened its doors to the public Thursday in Marrakech, the sunny, bustling, gritty Moroccan city beloved by the late French designer.

The highly anticipated opening comes less than three weeks since the inauguration of a museum dedicated to the fashion pioneer in his home city of Paris.

The Marrakech museum, designed by the French architectural firm Studio KO, sprawls across 4,000 square meters (43,000 sq. feet) near the Majorelle Garden, which Yves Saint Laurent and his late partner Pierre Berge bought in 1980.

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It features a permanent exhibit on the work of the prolific French couturier who died in 2008, and includes an exhibit hall, an auditorium, a library, a bookshop and a restaurant.

The museum was inaugurated Oct. 14 by the wife of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Lalla Salma, alongside actresses Catherine Deneuve and Marisa Berenson.

“This project finds its genesis in the temporary exhibition organized in the Majorelle Garden, which was called ‘Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco,'” explained Museum Director Bjorn Dahlstrom. “(That) exhibition was so enthusiastically welcomed that Bergé decided to create here, in Marrakech, a museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent.”

At the entrance to the museum, visitors bought tickets Thursday next to a red facade of Tetuan brick and granite, which Dahlstrom said “fits perfectly in the urban environment of Marrakech.”

Berge, who died earlier this year and was also Saint Laurent’s business partner, “often came to the construction site to see its progress,” said Sanaa El Younsi, a member of the museum team. “What a pity he’s not here to attend the opening.”

The Majorelle Garden, next to the museum, has a special significance for Saint Laurent, who would often design his collections in the shade of the city’s dappled terracotta buildings with the scent of flowers in the air. Today, the Majorelle Garden is one of the most visited tourist sites in the city.

Saint Laurent would come here “as soon as he finished a collection, to rest and prepare a new collection,” said Majorelle Garden Foundation head Quito Fierro.

“The garden was closed to the public between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to allow Yves Saint Laurent to walk without meeting people,” he remembered. “Almost all the collections were drawn on a white sheet in Marrakech.”

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Leathercraft Workshop in Marrakech from Kuku Big Bag

Get away and get crafty this May long weekend with Kuku Big Bag - with a four-day creative retreat in Morocco. As well as making your own bag, and stitching it by hand under the watchful eye of craftswoman Candice Lau, you will have the chance to visit traditional Moroccan tanneries to see where the leather originates, and truly see the story of your product from start to finish. All this at the beautiful Villa Magtafa in Marrakech, traditionally furnished villa with local cuisine cooked by our in-house chef. 

Four day trip at Villa Magtafa in Marrakech, Morocco

Friday 26th May - Monday 29th May 2017

COST: £725 or £650 for a shared room

N.B. A shared room will require you to share a bed with your partner. Only choose this option if you are happy to do so.

Price includes: 

  • Two days of workshop to make your own leather handbag

  • Pattern construction and learning the art of traditional leatherwork of hand stitching 

  • Your choice of leather

  • Trip to a world reknown Moroccan tannery

  • Stay in the beautiful Villa Magtafa, Marrakech (private room or shared with a friend) 

  • Bed, breakfast & dinner all included 

  • All meals - locally sourced and cooked by in-house chef from traditionally cooked shared couscous, to tagines and more.

  • Bus transfer from airport to Villa Magtafa on arrival and departure

  • Bus service from Villa Magtafa to tannery

Price does not include

  • Flights and travel insurance NOT included. Closest airport is Marrakech

  • Dinner outside of the villa and taxi to and from town are not included

"I have been working in leathercraft for the past 3 years and have honed my skills travelling across Europe, Africa and Asia. I was invited to visit Morocco with a dear friend a few years back and this was where I came to find my love, as well as Morocco's love for leathercraft. All across the souk and in amongst the narrow alley ways, I saw skilled craftsmen working at their craft. It was as though I have stepped back in time. It was truly an incredible experience for the sense. And that's what I'd like to share with my guests on this short course" - Candice Lau, founder 'Kuku Big Bag'

Itinerary

Guests need to arrive in Marrakech on the morning of Friday 26th May, 2017. Candice will be there to welcome you to take us back to Villa Magtafa for a welcome lunch. 

Breakfast is served from 9am which includes coffee, juices, pastries, and the typical Moroccan pancake.

Dinner is served every evening from 8pm and includes fresh local cuisine made by our in-house chef. There is an option to head into town for dinner and enjoy a night out. 

Please notify us if you have any special dietary requirements. 

Friday 26th May: Pick up from Marrakech airport and bus transfer to Villa Magtafa. A welcome lunch will be served at 2pm. After lunch, we will head into town for our tannery visit and an exploration of Marrakech famous souk. We will return to the villa for dinner. 

Saturday 27th May: Breakfast is served from 9am. We will have our full day of workshop under the canopy of our outdoor terrace. We will begin with the pattern making of your handbag, along with cutting and preparing the pieces for assembling. The workshop is hosted by Candice at from 10am til 6pm, with a short break for lunch. At the end of the day, guests can enjoy the pool and spa at the villa, or simply relax and enjoy the sun! Dinner will be served at 8pm.

Sunday 28th May: Breakfast is served from 9am. Our half day workshop begins at 10am. Your leather should be cut out and edges burnished, ready for assembling using hand stitching. After the workshop, you will have the afternoon free . Enjoy lunch at the villa, or take an excursion into town. 

* You have the option to spend the afternoon and evening in town (we will be happy to organise a taxi to take you to and from the villa). 

Monday 29th May: The morning is your chance to relax, enjoy the local area, have a final swim in the pool, or an relax morning in the spa. Check out from the villa is at 2pm and we will have a free transfer to the airport or town centre.

Marrakech International Film Festival Lineup Revealed

The 16th edition of the International Marrakech Film Festival, set to be held from December 2 to 10, features an impressive lineup of films.

 

The festival certainly supports diversity. Though only 14 films will be officially competing next month, the festival will screen a total of 30 films from 28 different countries. 

Below is a list of the 14 films included in the festival’s official competition:

  • The Story of a Mother, Sandrine Veysset (France)
  • The Donor, Zang Qiwu (Chine)
  • The Blind Christ, Christopher Murray (France, Chili)
  • Zoology, Ivan I. Tverdovsky (Russia, France, Germany)
  • Shepherds and Butchers, Olivier Schmitz (South Africa, United States, Germany)
  • The Road to Mandalay, Midi Z (Taïwan, France, Burma, Germany)
  • Parting, Navid Mahmoudi (Iran, Afghanistan)
  • Mister Universo, Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (Austria, Italy)
  • Knife in the clear water, Wang Xuebo (China)
  • Kings of the Belgians, Peter Brosens et Jessica Woodworth (Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria)
  • Hearstone, Gudmundur Aranar Gudmundsson (Denmark, Iceland)
  • The Fixer, Adrian Sitaru (Romania)
  • The Fits, Anna Rose Holmer (United States)
  • All of a Sudden, Asli Ozge (Germany, France, Netherlands)

The Foundouk in Marrakech is amongst the best rooftops in the world

Marrakech-based Le Foundouk restaurant has been ranked among the 14 world’s best sky-high and rooftop restaurants by the American network channel CNN.

It is now clear why world celebrities love to sprawl in the environment and goodies of the Moroccan marvellous city.

CNN describes Le Foundouk as a charming terrace above Marrakech’s frenetic medina and hails the service and food at the restaurant situated in the old town.

“Le Foundouk serves its take on Moroccan classics (beef fillet tagine, seafood pastilla) on a candle-lit rooftop overlooking the old town,” CNN commented.

Le Foundouk also catches eyes for its accessibility, CNN notes adding that the restaurant makes available staff to lead customers to the roof-top overlooking the city once they drop at the entrance of the glamorous restaurant.

“It can be hard to find, but lantern-bearing staff are on hand at the nearby taxi drop-off to guide diners to the restaurant,” CNN added.

Other top best-sky and roof-top restaurants include Duck and Waffle in London, The Ides at The Wythe in New York City, Sky on 57 in Singapore, Aroma, located in Rome, and Dos Cielos in Barcelona.

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TEDx Marrakech lands in October 2016

The fifth edition of TEDxMarrakesh will take place on Saturday October 8 2016 at Es Saadi Palace. This year TEDxMarrakesh will be bolder and bigger than ever with the theme COEXISTENCE OR NO EXISTENCE!?. 

There will be inspirational speakers focusing on this highly important topic and looking at it from different angles like religion, politics, nature, fashion, food etc. Stay tuned for continued updates on our speakers and other information.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, selforganized events that bring people together to share a TEDlike experience. Our event is called TEDxMarrakesh, where x = independently organized TED event. At ourTEDxMarrakesh event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are selforganized.

View all speakers here

Tickets are on sale here

 

Ling Ling has arrived

 

Following its debut in Mykonos, Greece, last summer, contemporary Cantonese restaurant, Ling Ling, is now making its way to the red city. Due to open at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech this Autumn, Ling Ling will be a destination for in-the-know locals and global travellers looking for a touch of refined decadence and culinary excellence.

Drawing inspiration from the Izakaya concept made popular in the East, where food accompanies the drinks and not the other way around, Ling Ling takes the Hakkasan DNA and bends it to create a restaurant and bar experience that reflects its environment but has signature elements from Hakkasan.

With reinvented presentations of smaller plates, Ling Ling encourages guests to discover Hakkasan’s cuisine differently, with the opportunity to share and try a variety of the Cantonese-style dishes. Cocktails are at the heart of the experience, offering intriguing and evolving menus curated by the award-winning team in London. The sound design is mastered and perfected by Hakkasan resident DJ in London, Pathaan, bringing eclectic, masterfully crafted playlists to Ling Lings across the world.

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YSL Museum in Marrakech

Dedicated to the work of the legendary French fashion designer, the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (mYSLm) will open its doors in autumn 2017. It will house an important selection from the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent’s impressive collection, which comprises 5,000 items of clothing, 15,000 haute couture accessories as well as tens of thousands of sketches and assorted objects, all currently archived in Paris.
 
The building has been designed by the French architecture firm Studio KO. Founded by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, the architects have completed numerous residential and public projects such as the Villa E and Villa K in Morocco, the Chiltern Firehouse in London, and the Balmain boutique in New York.

 Situated on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, adjacent to the famous Jardin Majorelle, the new building spans over 4,000meter square and is more than just a museum. It features a 400 meter squarepermanent exhibition space, showcasing Yves Saint Laurent’s work within an original scenography designed by Christophe Martin; a 150 meter square temporary exhibition space, a 130-seat auditorium, a bookshop, a café-restaurant with a terrace and a research library housing 5,000 books. The library’s collection includes books on Arabic and Andalusian history, geography, literature and poetry, as well as numerous volumes related to botany, Berber culture, Yves Saint Laurent’s oeuvre and the world of fashion.

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