Now, with the assistance of experts from Le Louvre Museum, Beirut National Museum has finally reopened, a year after the explosion.
Back in August of 2020, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture started working on a recovery map with teams from Le Louvre’s Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Department of Architectural Heritage and Gardens.
By the end of that same month, they initiated the planned emergency interventions to repair the windows, the doors, and the security system.
A number of specialists were also involved to repair the museum’s administrative quarters and archeological storerooms.
Although not completely repaired by mid-July of this year, Beirut National Museum opened its doors to receive only tourists and Lebanese expats, according to a spokesman of Le Louvre.
By now, 95% of the work is done and the museum has finally opened to all.
The Lebanese Director-General of Antiquities Sarkis el-Khoury stated that “in the context of the crisis that Lebanon is going through, carrying out this work in such a short period of time constitutes a remarkable success.”
However, the rehabilitation of the museum is not yet complete.
The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) had contributed $175,000 for the museum’s repairs. That is in addition to its contributions to restore other projects in Beirut, such as historic houses, religious buildings, and cultural institutions like Sursock Museum.
The Beirut National Museum still requires funding for major repairs to guarantee its long-term balance and sustainability. For instance, its air conditioning system is currently operating at only 30% of its capacity.
According to a statement by Le Louvre, the remaining essential repairs are expected to cost $800,000.-
The Beirut National Museum is home to more than 1,800 preciously rare objects ranging from prehistoric times to the Phoenician era and medieval Mamluk period. It plays a very important role in preserving the historical and archeological features of Lebanon.
It was destroyed several times, including during the Civil War, and was rehabilitated every time, becoming a symbol of the country’s determination to survive whatever the overwhelming challenges.
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