Heritage Alert: ICOMOS Lebanon - Statement of Concern on the Destruction of Cultural Heritage
ICOMOS International invites you to read and share the Statement of Concern by ICOMOS Lebanon regarding the Commemorative steles of Nahr el-Kalb, Mount Lebanon:
"The International Council on Monuments and Sites of Lebanon (ICOMOS-Lebanon), as representatives of the national heritage community, is very much concerned about the current condition of protection and preservation of the Promontory and the Commemorative steles of Nahr el-Kalb inscribed since 2005 as UNESCO – Memory of the World and also on the 2019 Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The site is today endangered by the construction of a complex of buildings that will serve as the headquarters of a political party, the CPL (Courant Patriotique Libre). The implementation of these buildings will completely and irreversibly mutilate the Heritage Site by the excavations and the intrusion on this Historical Landscape.
The complex is foreseen to be implemented directly on the promontory at less than few meters from the Commemorative steles of Nahr el-Kalb impacting the direct visual context. This promontory, entrusted to the Lebanese Maronite Order since hundreds of years, is today flouted by a political decision, without any respect of a minimum buffer zone even not defined by authorities in charge. With this direct intrusion, the site of the steles will lose all its chances to be listed to the World Heritage proving that the site is at risk and not protected.
We then strongly ask for an immediate halt of the construction project and an urgent reconsideration for the delocalization of the complex before it is too late. The non respect of our cultural heritage by our own government and the Lebanese Maronite Order is outrageous for the preservation of the History and Memory of our Country for the future generations."
Update: On 31 March 2020, the Secretary General of ICOMOS wrote to the Minister of Culture of Lebanon, with copies to the Permanent Delegation of Lebanon to UNESCO, the Director General of Antiquities of Lebanon and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, to also express ICOMOS Internationals concern, call for an immediate stop to construction work, seek further information, and offer ICOMOS’ assistance in conserving this highly significant site for Lebanon.
Read the ICOMOS International letter to the Minister of Culture of Lebanon
Read the full Heritage Alert Template
Read the open letter from UNESCO in response to the construction project at the Archaeological Site of Nahr El-Kalb in Lebanon
- Commemorative steles of Nahr el-Kalb, Mount Lebanon © ICOMOS Lebanon