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Some cities could do with a lick of paint. Casablanca needs a vat. The walls peel and crumble. Occasionally there is embarrassment. “Are you going to show that?” asks one anxious Art Deco cinema owner, pointing to a dining-table-sized piece of plaster hanging precariously from the ceiling.

It’s as if repairs stopped in the 1930s – an edict was sent out: “Everyone put down your paintbrushes now.” It’s a shame a similar fiat wasn’t issued to prevent new construction. Since the end of the Second World War Casablanca’s architecture has become dull,…

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