Lebanon’s Iconic Futurist Park Just Got World Heritage Status, And We’re Here For It

On Wednesday, the United Nations recognized the futurist park in Lebanon as a world heritage site, due to its “alarming state of conservation” and the need for resources to preserve it.

The UN cultural agency, UNESCO, added the park to its list of sites in danger. Additionally, the Rachid Karameh International Fair in the coastal city of Tripoli was also included in the list.

The Rachid Karameh International Exhibition Center is one of the 5 largest exhibition centers in the world.

The concrete park, located near the seafront, has faced potential ruin in recent years, according to activists.

UNESCO described the fair as “one of the major representative works of 20th-century modern architecture” and an important part of Lebanon’s modernization efforts in the 1960s.

Inscribing the park and fair as world heritage sites in danger opens the possibility for increased international assistance to preserve them.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is from Tripoli, celebrated the decision as a major accomplishment for the country and the city.

Activists had been advocating for the UNESCO listing in hopes of securing funding from donors to save the park in the midst of Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis.

The 15 structures, designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1963, remain unfinished after being abandoned during the Lebanese civil war in 1975.

Back in 2019, there were plans to create a high-tech hub and business park at the site but has since been tabled as the economic crisis began a month later.

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