The international organizations ALIPH, ICOM and ICOMOS are jointly committed to the rehabilitation of Beirut’s heritage damaged by the explosion on 4 August 2020.
As part of their joint mission to Beirut (14-16 September 2020), Marie-Laure Lavenir (ICOMOS), Valéry Freland (ALIPH) and Peter Keller (ICOM) had working meetings with the Director General of Antiquities (DGA) of Lebanon, the heads of several museums and libraries, and many representatives of civil society, including, in particular, the Lebanese committees of ICOM, ICOMOS, and the Blue Shield. The aim was to contribute to the evaluation of the situation, identify the challenges, and to assist in the coordination of international action and the implementation of concrete projects for the rehabilitation of the heritage damaged by the explosion of 4 August.
During the press conference on 15 September at the Sursock Museum, in presence of Dr. Sarkis Khoury (DGA) and Zeina Arida, the Museum’s Director, their strategy was presented as well as ongoing and future projects for Beirut.
Valéry Freland introduced the main goals on the joint mission and all the organizations that made it possible to respond to the emergency in such a swift and effective way.
“We came together with @ICOMOS and ICOM because we wanted to show together our solidarity towards the people of Beirut, but also to contribute to the international and local coordination of heritage protection actions, and to the financing and implementation of concrete projects.”
Peter Keller focused on the measures that allowed us to react in the aftermath of the Beirut blast.
“Our mission will not stop here. The rehabilitation of Beirut museums will take time, and we’ll be at their side along the way. The strength of ICOM comes from its network of professionals, who are mobilised and whose eyes are turned towards Beirut.”
Marie-Laure Lavenir specified that “ICOMOS is acting at two levels: with our Lebanese Committee, very active in the field, we ensured financial support to strengthen its logistical means. At the level of our international network, we mobilized our experts who have worked on similar emergency situations.”
Finally, ICOMOS, ICOM, and ALIPH announced the establishment of a joint task force dedicated to the protection of Beirut’s heritage, with a view to contributing to strengthening the coordination of funding and actions carried out in the field, in close cooperation with the DGA, and within the framework of the efforts of the international community.