BEIRUT FINE ART HERITAGE RESCUE: A non-governmental initiative

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2020_Beirut_explosions_1. Image by Prachatai. Lisenced under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Original location HERE.

The blast in Beirut Port on August 4, 2020 was devastating to the city, its people, its heritage and to the fine art sector. Many artworks are in need of urgent conservation and/or restoration interventions. This sector remains neglected. Beirut’s fine art suffered from severe physical and chemical damages.

Therefore, Beirut Fine Art Heritage Rescue is the first initiative to be launched by Gaby Maamary, founder of Art Nub Beirut shortly after the blast for direct and effective conservation strategy and tactics of safeguarding. The importance of the volunteer initiative is in its nature, as a supportive free-of-charge action plan in these difficult times. It aims to help the people whose artworks suffered from the blast with no discrimination nor prejudice when it comes to artworks, artists or social layers.

The initiative is based upon three levels:
• Assessment of damage
• Conservation consultancy
• Restoration intervention

This volunteer initiative is in collaboration with Lebanese experts and authorities in the art scene and is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of artworks properties of artists, galleries, collectors, institutions and foundations.

Three weeks after the launching of Beirut Fine Art Heritage Rescue, we have conducted numerous visits and inspected different collections. The damaged artworks, properties of private owners, galleries and artists, were mostly paintings, drawing and sculptures by local and international artists, from Contemporary all the way back to 17th-century Flemish.

Many media covered and supported the initiative, like MTV Lebanon, the French newspaper L’Orient-le Jour, Galerie magazine, and Canvas magazine (Dubai) along with online platforms based in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Beirut Fine Art Heritage Rescue is a non-governmental initiative of solidarity based on personal funding. Due to the current economic situation art materials are scarce in Lebanon, and as for the restoration materials and equipment, these were always bought from Europe.

The capital control we are subjected to in Lebanon blocked our account and transactions which made it impossible to order online. Moreover, the drastic devaluation of the local currency against the dollar or euro led to the downfall of our financial means.

The only escape route to get the necessary materials to fulfil our tasks remains, so to speak, by means of friends joggling between Lebanon and Europe with lists of materials unrestricted by international flight regulations.

Even though our intention is to stand by our community to save our fine art and cultural heritage, our financial means remain below our expectations making it almost impossible to procure much needed products. Therefore, we humbly request your support in the way you see fit.

Here is the list of urgent products we need:

Canvas rolls for relining:
Belgian Linen tight weave 175 gsm / 0.40 mm /width 226 cm / 4 rolls +
Belgian Linen tight weave 305 gsm / 0.70 mm /width 224 cm / 4 rolls +

Retouching brushes pure sables. Long fine pointed tips, number 000, 00, 0 , 1, 2, 3 , 4

Facing paper:
Bollore, 12 gr and 60 gr for painting / rolls

Plextol B 500 –
Polyvinyl Alcohol
Beva 371 Film
Beva 371
Lascaux Acrylic Adhesive 360 498
Polyvinyl Acetate
Filmoplast R archival tape
filmoplast P 90 archival tape
masking tape 3M blue 2090
Acid-Free Gummed Linen Tape
924 Adhesive Transfer Tape
Silicone Coated Polyester, Double Sided
Mylar Polyester Film Roll (Different Dimensions)
Css Vacuum-Release Film
Dartek Cast Nylon Film
Rabbit Skin Glue

Wetting agent / Enzymes:
Ox gall

Godlen archival varnish
Retouch varnish aerosol matte
Retouch varnish bottle matte

Maimeri restoration color (4 complete sets)

Ultra Violet Light:
Bl 15 uv wand – 230 v
Uvl-28 / twin tubes / el series -230 v
Uv magnifier lamp 230 v
Uv twin tube portable

Table magnifier lamps
Portable magnifier lamps 5X- 10X
Head mounted magnifier 5X – 10X
Max detail glasses

Infrared Reflectogram Camera IRR / OPUS INSTRUMENTS:
Camera: APOLLO
macro lens
illumination kit
1250 Short Wave Pass filter
1250-1510 Bandpass filter
1510 Long Wave Pass filter
Leica F12 L


Nayla Yared
Managing Director
Tel: +9613376626

Gaby Maamary
Art historian
Conservator of cultural heritage
Assistant professor / Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts / University of Balamand
Tel: +9613278042

Art Nub Beirut
85 Elias Medawar Street, Abou Jaoude Building, 2nd Floor, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon

Interview with Marcel Ghanem
Interview l'Orient le Jour
Interview Daraj Media
Also check our Facebook and Instagram pages

You can download the PDF below, which also contains all this information.