The Government of Iceland has signed an agreement with UNESCO today supporting culture and the creative economy in Beirut, following the devastating explosion that killed hundreds, injured thousands, and nearly ripped the heart and soul from the cultural life of the city six months ago.
"Among the areas affected by the blast were communities and hubs for Lebanon’s creative economy. Cultural life and creativity are fundamental to rebuilding resilient communities. This valuable contribution brings us one step closer to that objective." UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone R.
UNESCO launched its LiBeirut initiative immediately after the blast to support the recovery of the city through education and culture.
The contribution from Iceland will provide direct support to artists and cultural associations through the creation of training programmes in the fields of the performing arts, music, visual arts and cinema. It will also support the restoration of damaged artworks by Lebanese artists, and display these works in a temporary exhibition. This activity will include selected Lebanese artists’ artworks from the Ministry of Culture’s modern artwork collection, to be scheduled for an upcoming exhibition at the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA).
“Creativity, culture and art are of high importance to every society,” said Ms Unnur Orradóttir-Ramette, Iceland’s Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. “We are confident that this contribution will help the people of Beirut in revitalizing the city’s cultural life through training programmes and restorations.” Ambassador Orradóttir-Ramette also welcomed UNESCO's role in coordinating UN efforts on education and leading coordination efforts for recovery and reconstruction of the city's culture and heritage.