Located in Beirut's Achrafieh district is one of Lebanon's most important cultural destinations: the Sursock Museum. Since it opened in the early 1960s, the museum has been housed in an ornate early 20th-century palace built in a pared-back mix of Ottoman and Venetian styles. Extensively renovated and extended with new gallery spaces a few years ago, the Sursock was then badly damaged by the blast at the capital's port on 4 August 2020. The museum now has the mammoth task of repairing the destruction, which is only possible thanks to the support of other museums and foundations around the world. As part of the country's heritage and an important site for the arts, this building must be brought back to life.
Following a screening of a 20-minute documentary by Bahij Hojeij showing the newly renovated Sursock Museum when it reopened to the public in 2015, Arsmondo brings you a virtual interview with the museum's director, Zeina Arida. Topics addressed will include the Sursock's significance in Lebanon and more widely in the Arab world over the last 60 years, the challenges it faces today, and the country's history of modern art and contemporary art scene.