Beirut’s Cultural Scene Badly Damaged By Last Weeks Explosion

Beiruts-Cultural-heritage-destroyed

The Sursock Art Museum survived 15 years of war, but not the blast. Historic buildings are at risk of collapse ⁠— along with Beirut’s arts community.

The 1912 villa survived 15 years of civil war, but now the explosion in Beirut has destroyed the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum.

The white façade of the building that housed modern and contemporary art still stands, but the blast that shook Beirut on August 4 took out the blue, yellow and red window panes.

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“The interior of the museum is almost completely destroyed,” said Elsa Hokayem, the museum’s deputy director. “The wood, the lamps, the doors and 25 works of art have been damaged.”

A portrait of museum founder Nicolas Sursock, painted by the Dutch artist Kees van Dongen, is “torn from one corner to the other,” she said.

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