15 Jun, 2023 @ 09:30
1 min read

Gibraltar ramps up cultural and business links with Morocco opening office and holding events in Tangier

Banderas Del Reino Unido, Marruecos, Gibraltar Y Gibraltar Maroc Business Association

GIBRALTAR is ramping up cultural and business links with the Moroccan city of Tangier as the Rock moves ever closer to a possible hard frontier with Spain.

A group of around 20 cultural figures travelled to Tangier on a cultural weekend that included a music video presentation, art, cooking and writing workshops.

The Gibraltar Morocco Business Association (GMBA) officially opened its offices in the heart of Tangier on Monday, three years after it was planned because of the pandemic.

The deepening of contacts with Morocco comes as time runs out on talks for an EU treaty between UK and Spain over Gibraltar.

Minister for Culture John Cortes led the group to Tangier where he presented a Mark Montovio sculpture to the Donabo Botanic Gardens in Tangier.

The piece or art is one of three looking at the idea of justice and judgement and is made from recycled materials.

Musician Adrian Pisarello had teamed up with Liam Byrne and Ismail Mnebhi to shoot a colourful video in Gibraltar and Tangier.

The trio presented the finished edit which features a song in English, Spanish and Moroccan Arabic in the North African city.

The visiting group then went on to cook their own tagine lunch in the Donabo Gardens.

In the afternoon, Gibraltar artist Ermelinda Duarte offered a tile crafting workshop and Book Council member Melissa Bosano challenged the group to write creatively.

Illustrator Eleanor Dobbs then gave a workshop exploring new forms of expression and provided children who were deaf and hard of hearing with a sketching lesson.

A visit to Gallery Kent and a presentation of ‘Tangier from the Rock’s artistic lens’ completed the visit.

Culture minister John Cortes called it ‘an incredible weekend of cultural exchange’ for both peoples on either side of the Straits of Gibraltar.

He also officially opened the GMBA office along with its president Joshua Llhote who said he was ‘thrilled’ with the event.

Although the GMBA originally opened a decade ago, it came to the fore after the Brexit vote and has continued work at the new offices since 2020.

It was originally supposed to open in March 2020 until COVID-19 shut down Moroccan borders in one of the harshest African lockdowns.

“I was encouraged to see the energy and vigour of all those involved in achieving this and the thirst there is to learn more about each other,” Cortes said.

“The office aspires to work hard with the relevant communities to maximise opportunities, be they economic and commercial, social, academic or cultural.

“The journey continues,” he added.


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