ICOMOS Heritage Alert - Beirut Grain Silos

beirut blast 3 1024x768ICOMOS supports the expression of concern issued by ICOMOS Lebanon, as representatives of the heritage community in their country, with regards to the latest decision by the Lebanese government ordering the demolition of the Beirut Grain Silos, a remarkable modern heritage monument and engineering work, but also a significant place in the collective memory of the population of Lebanon and Beirut in particular.

On 4 August 2020, one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history took place in Beirut harbour, generating a blast wave which ripped through the capital. The explosion killed more than 220 persons, leaving a further 6000 injured and 300 000 homeless.

In the news coverage, the crumbling grain silos that had absorbed the blast were to become the emblematic image of an event that shook not only Lebanon but the entire world.

Today, their possible demolition reveals a society torn between amnesia and the need to preserve this landmark, as a symbol of this tragedy which has left an indelible mark in the nation’s psyche. The silos, and all the heritage buildings that were affected by the blast, are the visual representatives of this collective memory, that is now a part of the Lebanese nation’s history.

Demolishing the silos, removing this landmark, and creating a physical void, will give the impression of an absence of space and only serve to enhance psychological amnesia.

The significance of this structure lies in what it symbolizes through its history.

ICOMOS calls for an immediate reversal of the decision to demolish the Beirut Grain Silos and for them to be officially legally registered as a protected national historic building, including the designation of a surrounding buffer zone.

beirut blast 3 1024x768


Photo credits: 
First image: Beirut Grain Silos after the blast © Dia Mrad
Second image: Aerial view of the site ©  Rami Rizk

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies to recognize your repeat visits and preferences, the display of videos and the measurement of audiences.No cookies are used to track you for commercial or advertising purposes.

Your browser and online tools allow you to adjust the setting of these cookies. Learn more

I understand

Cookies Policy

ICOMOS informs you that, when browsing the ICOMOS website and all the pages of this domain, cookies are placed on the user's computer, mobile or tablet. No cookies are used to track users for commercial or advertising purposes.

A cookie is a piece of information stored by a website on the user's computer and that the user's browser provides to the website during each user’s visit.

These cookies essentially allow ICOMOS to:

You will find below the list of cookies used by our website and their characteristics:

Cookies created by the use of a third-part service on the website:



For information:

You can set up your browser to alert you of the presence cookies and offer you to accept them or not. You can accept or refuse cookies on a case-by-case basis or refuse them once and for all. However, some features of the ICOM website cannot function properly without cookies activated. 

The setting of cookies is different for each browser and generally described in the help menus. You will find more explanations on how to proceed via the links below.

Firefox   •  



Internet Explorer


Dowload ICOMOS Cookies Policy