Lebanon Businessnews News

National Library construction complete
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Construction and restoration works at the National Library in Sanayeh will be completed this month. It will not be open to the public until several legal texts have been approved by the Council of Ministers.

Pending decrees include: A decree to appoint a board of directors and a general director, a decree to acknowledge the National Library as a public institute, and one to organize its work and tasks.

Jelnar Atoueh, Communications Officer at the State-backed Revival Project of the National Library, said: “We have reached the advanced stages in the process of approving the decrees.” The Revival Project of the National Library was launched in 2007. It is a continuation of the European Union’s $2 million project to restore the library’s collections.

Qatar donated $25 million, in 2005, for the restoration of the Sanayeh premises and the construction of the new space to house the National Library. Works began in 2010 with A.R Hourie as the contractor and Erga Group, the consultant.
There are 25 specialists currently restoring, cataloguing and archiving rare books and first prints of several periodicals. The team is working at the Free Zone of the Port of Beirut, where workshops have been equipped for the cleaning, sorting, and collections’ inventory.

The National Library is responsible for storing publications written by Lebanese individuals, or related to Lebanon, or that have been published locally.

The library was first established in the house of Philillpe de Tarrazi, in 1919. It was moved, along with its 32,000 documents to its new premises in the Parliament building at the Place de l’Etoile, in the late 30s. After the Civil War, the Government decreed a freeze on the National Library's activities. The historical collection was severely damaged and was entrusted to the Central Bank and then to the National Archives. In 1999, the Council of Ministers provided the Ministry of Culture with the former premises of the Faculty of Law of the Lebanese University in Sanayeh as the permanent location of the National Library.
Date Posted: Oct 09, 2014
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