Denise Masson was not only a leading Islamic scholar of Marrakech, she was “La Dame de Marrakech” par excellence .. a woman who celebrated the medina where she lived and continues to be part of the memory of this city and Morocco.
Denise Masson wrote her famous interpretation of the Koran which must be hailed as one of the best interpretations of the Koran in French, published in 1967 by Gallimard.
The Riad Denise Masson, where she studied Islam, and was honoured by her neighbourhood, was bequeathed to the French Institute of Marrakech to host people or events aimed at dialogue between the three religions of the Book.
To pay tribute to her, and on the occasion of 110 anniversary of her birth (August 5, 1901) and the anniversary of her death at 93 on 10 November 1994, a ceremony was organised on 10 November 2011, at the European cemetery in Marrakech, Guéliz.
On this occasion prayers were said from the three religions of the Book, in the presence of the Consul General of France in Marrakech, Chantal Chauvin, Bahija Simou (speecj in Arabic), Francois-Xavier Tillette (Project Manager for the Sub-Directorate North Africa, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs), Dominique Lemaistre (Director of Sponsorship at the Fondation de France) and Guerric Masson (great-nephew and biographer Denise Masson).
Denise Masson was the most erudite and well known Islamic scholar of her time, known for translating the Koran into French. Writer, musician, protagonist of the dialogue of cultures of the Euro-Maghreb and the three monotheistic religions , She chose to leave the riad to France and to be buried in Morocco, a country she always loved and where she rests peace.
The famous Denise Masson riad, located at Bab Doukkala in the old medina of Marrakech, is open to the public for greater cultural and artistic development of this specific place.