Abdelaziz Touri

Originally from Morocco, Abdelaziz Touri is an archaeologist and historian of Islamic art. He graduated from Paris-Sorbonne University and worked at the Ministry of Culture of Morocco as Director of Cultural Heritage from 1987 to 2000 and then as Secretary General from 2000 to 2007. His career also involved him in archaeological research and excavations as well as serving as Deputy Director of the National Institute of Moroccan Archeology and Heritage Sciences from 1986 to 1988, where he is now a professor. Author of several books on Moroccan World Heritage sites as well as on archeology, heritage and intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean basin, he co-published Le Maroc Andalou (Eddif, 2000). Abdelaziz Touri was a member of the Moroccan delegation for World Heritage from 1992 to 2005 and was elected President of the 23rd session of the Committee in Marrakech in 1999.

The following audio excerpts are from an interview conducted with Abdelaziz Touri by Christina Cameron and Petra Van Den Born in June 2011 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. He recounts his vision of World Heritage through his experience as a member of the Moroccan delegation and Chairman of the Committee. In particular, he calls for greater representativity for the World Heritage List, greater solidarity among States Parties and a return to the humanist ideals of the Convention. He also comments with sympathetic but critical attention on the strengths and weaknesses of the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre.

UNESCO, World Heritage Oral Archives, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, University of Montreal, audio interview of Abdelaziz Touri by Christina Cameron and Petra Van Den Born, Paris, France, 22 June 2011.