Experts: Rainy Season To Further Threaten Beirut Heritage

BEIRUT – Restoring Beirut’s damaged architectural heritage following the devastating August explosion will take hundreds of millions of dollars and costs will quickly rise if no action is taken ahead of the onset of the rainy season in less than two months, international experts warned Tuesday.

An international coalition of museums and heritage protection groups pledged millions of dollars of support to take care of the initial restoration and attempts to keep damaged buildings from crumbling in the coming weeks and months. But that is far from sufficient.

‘The directorate general of the antiquities has estimated that 300 million dollars would be necessary to for the restoration of heritage house in Lebanon’, said Sarkis Khouri, Director General of Antiquities of Lebanon.

Apart from historic homes, may other cultural structures such as museum also need extensive restoration after the massive Aug.4 blast that killed at least 190 people, injured 6.500 and caused damage worth billions of dollars. The explosion of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate  stored at the port for six years also left a quarter of a million people homeless.

Experts underscored the need to act fast to repair the vast damages to the heritage of the city, once known as the Paris of the Middle East.

‚Rain may damage the facades even more’ said Khouri. „We have to cover 100 historic buildings before the rains and support the structure of about 45 houses near the port and about 50 houses that have been badly hit further up. If we do not do that, not only will have higher expenses in terms of restoration, but we may see some buildings just crumble to pieces’.

And in the historic neighborhoods, it is not specificaly the standout monuments that have been hit but also the more mundane homes that give every street its character, said Marie – Laure Lavenit of the International Council on Monuments and Sites.

There is also were the organization will provide support, ‚,houses were ordinary people live’’, she said, so they won’t be tempted to sell to speculators who would raze their historic homes to build highrises in their place.

Since the end of Lebanon’s 15-year civil war in 1990, many buildings have been demolished and replaced by modern highrises. Since the August blast, there have been reports of middlemen scouting destroyed neighborhoods and making offer to buy old buildings.

During a visit to Beirut last month, the U.N. Cultural agency chief Andrey Azoulay said that UNESCO launched a campaign titled ‚Li Beirut’, or for Beirut, and called on states, the private sector and individuals to donate money. She called fore preserving the historic district of Beirut through laws that prevent selling buildings by taking advantage of owners who have fallen on hard times.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Donate Total of $7.9 Mln To Charity

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have donated a total of $7.9 million (SR 30 million) to charity through the Kingdom’s Ehsan Platform, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday. King Salman donated $5.3 million (SR20 million) for charitable and non – profitable works, while the Crown Prince contributed … More Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Donate Total of $7.9 Mln To Charity

U.S. Imposes Wide Array Of Sanctions On Russia For ‘Malign’ Actions

The Unites States on Thursday imposed a boar array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for election interference, cyber – hacking, bullying Ukraine and other ‘malign’ acts. The measures blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and placed limits on the Russian sovereign debt market in steps sure to anger Moscow. Among the actions, President … More U.S. Imposes Wide Array Of Sanctions On Russia For ‘Malign’ Actions


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s