News Column

Notes for Director General of Italian Development Cooperation

May 16, 2014

NNA - Launching of the Project "Improvement of the cultural offer of the National Museum of Beirut: the new display of the basement" AID 10136

Project financed by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Directorate General of Development Cooperation (implemented through "direct management" of Italian Embassy/Italian Cooperation)

Project financing: ? 1,020,000.00

Main partners: Ministry of Culture; General Directorate of Antiquities

Duration: 18 months

"It is a pleasure to be present here today for launching a Project that strengthens the partnership between our two Countries, Lebanon and Italy, sharing so much in terms of Cultural Heritage. At the crossroad of the ancient civilizations of the Old World, Lebanon witnessed the growth and development of the Phoenician culture, with its expansion in the Mediterranean Basin, and of the many following cultures represented by the exquisites archaeological objects showcased here, in the National Museum of Beirut.

"The National Museum of Beirut discloses with elegance the various civilizations that populated this Land and that enabled the creation, along the ages, of the incredibly diverse culture characterizing Lebanon till present days.

" Protecting this cultural patrimony, while maintaining its diversity and its various nuances, is certainly an onerous commitment for the Ministry of Culture and the Directorate General of Antiquities. It is nevertheless a commitment that the Italian Government and the Italian Development Cooperation are honoured to contribute for.

" The Cultural Heritage sector plays in fact a major role within the strategy of the Italian Development Cooperation. Enjoying the special expertise acquired throughout our history, the Government of Italy attaches special importance to Cultural Cooperation initiatives.

" The Cultural Patrimony of Lebanon is certainly of great scale and value: the acknowledgment of this value and the role that culture may play in the sustainable development of this Country are definitely among the reasons that constantly urges the Italian Government in being a leading partner in similar initiatives.

" Lebanon and namely the National Museum of Beirut are furthermore outstanding examples of the protection of cultural heritage under extremely difficult circumstances: the incredible measures implemented by the then Director General, Emir Maurice Chehab, to protect the Museum collection before any damage from the civil war could occur, was in fact considered as a reference for many Countries. A successful story that was presented within the international framework of the event "The safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean countries afflicted by conflicts: the CHUD program in Lebanon and the experience of the Italian Cooperation" promoted and organized in Rome by the Italian Development Cooperation as a tribute to the Lebanese Culture and to the many institutions and professionals struggling to protect it.

" I therefore express my gratitude to the Minister of Culture, Mr Areiji, and to the Directorate General of Antiquities for the precious partnership that we will experience once more within the Project for the museographic display of the National Museum of Beirut, confident that this cooperation project may be soon considered another successful story for the cultural patrimony of this Country.


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Source: National News Agency (Lebanon)

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