Saturday, October 15, 2016

Beirut Museum galleries reopen

PHOENICIAN WATCH: National Museum of Beirut opens basement for first time since civil war. Gallery of ancient funerary art restored with Italian support (Hannah McGivern, The Art Newspaper).
The National Museum of Beirut, which stood on the deadly Green Line during the Lebanese civil war, has reopened fully to the public after more than 40 years. On 7 October, the Lebanese prime minister Tammam Salam and the Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni inaugurated the restored basement galleries dedicated to Lebanon’s ancient funerary art. The project was funded more than €1m by the Italian government and supported by Italian conservators.


The new underground displays range from prehistory to the Ottoman Empire and include 31 Phoenician anthropoid sarcophagi carved in marble (sixth-century BC to fourth-century BC), the world’s largest such collection, and the second-century Roman tomb of Tyre, whose frescoed surfaces were restored by Italian conservators in 2010-11. Three Medieval mummies are also on view after analysis and restoration at the Eurac research centre in Bolzano, Italy.

I hope everything continues to stay safe.