The Ministry of Culture signed an agreement with the Académie Libanaise Des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) of Balamand University for the creation of an innovative ‘National Virtual Museum for Modern Arts’.
The agreement aims at establishing a website for online display of local art, in order to introduce the public to the artists and their activities.
The Virtual Museum will eventually include 2,000 artistic pieces owned by the Ministry. These pieces currently are part of the collections at the Presidential palace, the governmental palace, and the Parliament. Also some pieces are in storage at the Ministry’s warehouses.
Establishing and managing the museum will be funded by ALBA, in coordination with the Ministry. André Bikhazi, Dean of ALBA, said: “The cost of investment in this project will exceed thousands of dollars, but this is a grant from the university.” He said that the students and professors will participate in taking the audio and visual photos, collecting information about the artists and sculptors and interviewing those artists available, all in order to maintain Lebanon’s arts heritage.
Raymond Araiji, Minister of Culture, said: “We chose this virtual way due to financial reasons, since the Ministry does not have the ability to establish a traditional national museum.” The museum will include constant exhibitions, a brief about each artistic work and the history of each piece, as well as the CVs of the respective artists.
Bikhazi said: “We hope we can help in establishing a real museum in the future, but this costs a lot because it requires specific standards regarding humidity and temperature.”