Facing the Sursock Palace is the Sursock Museum that opened in 1961 in a 1912 villa and went to become an iconic landmark in the most exclusive residential area of Beirut.
It survived wars and conflicts until recently. Situated less than a kilometer away from the site of the blast, the museum could not evade the impact of the massively devastating Beirut Port explosion on August 4th, 2020.
It sustained severe damage and, according to the museum’s representatives, it will cost an estimated $3 million to restore it to its original state.
“Everything we have been doing in the past 10 years, we have to redo today,” said Zeina Arida, the museum’s director.
In a press conference at the museum last Friday, it was announced that the French Ministry of Culture will help restore the historic museum.
French Ambassador to Lebanon Anne Grillo announced that France will personally take on the restoration of the museum’s magnificent stained glass windows and its historic first floor, including the Arab Salon.
“This support is a testament to France’s commitment to the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Lebanon,” wrote the Sursock Museum on social media.
“It is one of several significant contributions on behalf of French institutions, including the Institut national du Patrimoine, which has lent the Museum its expertise, and the Centre Pompidou, which will support the restoration of artworks, including Dutch artist Kees van Dongen’s portrait of Nicolas Sursock.”
Accordingly, a fund to restore the nearby Sursock Palace, which was also heavily damaged, was launched late last year.
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