UNESCO urged on Thursday the international community to support efforts to save the cultural heritage of Lebanon’s capital Beirut, after the two devastating explosions on August 4.
On a press release, the UN organization specializing in education, science and culture noted that on Monday it took a first step in that direction, with the holding of an online forum to coordinate emergency and longer-term measures.
The main cultural organizations and experts from Lebanon and foreigners participated in the meeting, summoned to discuss the serious effects suffered by the heritage of the city and the actions for rehabilitation.
‘The blasts in the port of Beirut not only claimed lives and injured thousands, but also inflicted serious damage to some of Beirut’s most historic neighborhoods, the main museums, galleries and religious sites,’ UNESCO underscored.
Based on the request for support from the General Directorate of Antiquities of Lebanon, the multilateral entity will lead the international mobilization for the recovery and reconstruction of the culture and heritage of Beirut, aligned with local technical needs.
According to Sarkis Khoury, the Director General of Antiquities of Lebanon’s Ministry of Culture, at least 8,000 buildings, many of them located in the old districts of Gemmayzeh and Mar-Mikhael, suffered the impact of the detonations, attributed to a large shipment of ammonium nitrate stored in the capital’s port for several years.