shopping in Fez

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Mar 12th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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shopping in Fez

Fez was a wonderful place to explore, however we were disappointed to learn that we were cheated on some items that we purchased at Maison Berber. Our guide told us that he was taking us to a Jewish museum, where we could wait while he prayed. We listened with interest as the man we thought to be the "curator of the museum" showed us the beautiful valuable relics of Judiasm. Sadly, the man bemoaned, he was going to have to sell off his third generation museum, as he could no longer afford the utility bills since tourism plummeted post 9/11. We took the bait hook line and sinker, perusing the treasure trove of Judaica, hoping to find a few trinkets to help this man keep his museum afloat. We paid a kings ransom for a "400 year old solid brass astrolabe" that was supposedly made by sephardic Jews. We also purchased some antique "silver" Berber bangles. When my husband went to get cash for the astrolabe, the shop keeper couldn't wrap it up fast enough. I inquired about the fomalities of purchasing antiques, and he assured me that he would simply write "used astrolabe" on the receipt. We should have figured out that we had been duped upon looking at the receipt, for it clearly indicated that this was not a museum, but a proper shop. When we got home, we realized that the astrolabe consisted of a thin layer of brass over a piece of concrete! It was an absolute fake! We also learned through a Moroccan contact in NYC that the "silver" bangles were actually nickle. I guess we were suckered by the authentic looking magazine and newspaper articles (in French) that the man showed us to "prove" his authenticity. A word to the wise--if you doubt something's value--don't buy it! With what we paid for the astrolabe, we could have purchased an additional trip to Morocco!
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Mar 19th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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You have to be very careful of whatever you buy in Maroc. The best Judaica that I've seen there is to be found at the Jutia (2nd hand or flea market) or in the antique shops of Rabat.
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