Lebanese Artist Just Revived Abandoned Aquarium With Beach Towels!

Affordable Art Fair | Danielle Karam

Lebanese street artist and interior architect Jad El-Khoury is spreading infectious positivity wherever he goes. He turns war-torn and abandoned structures into works of art.

In his most recent art installation, called Manchafet El-Baher (Beach Towels), Khoury revives the unfinished aquarium in Batroun. The building would have once been a hub for maritime culture in the north.

Over 100 colorful beach towels hang around the abandoned structure from beam to beam, dancing with the wind!

The vibrant colors and patterns strive to spread positive vibes. The dancing towels promote happiness amid the gloom that sweeps through the country. 

Once upon a time, the northern sea city was going to have its own Maritime Cultural Center.

However, “construction of the building stalled due to the civil war in Lebanon,” said Lebanese architect Gioia Sawaya about the aquarium in Failed Architecture.

“This complex war has left many physical scars on Lebanon’s built environment, the abandoned aquarium is among the more striking,” she added.

Back to the artist, it’s not the first time Jad El-Khoury has restored life to old and abandoned structures in Lebanon with uplifting colors.

He has many similar projects. One worth noting is his Burj al-Murr project, which won Venice’s 2019 Arte Laguna Prize for Urban and Land Art in 2019.

“In times where we are craving good vibes Manchafet El-Baher comes to give a new breath of life to the Aquarium,” he said on Instagram about his latest project.

“The installation also sheds light on the vision we had before the war and questions the lack of public cultural and scientific centers in the present.”