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Beirut’s Sursock Museum Reopens After $15 Million Revamp

Beirut’s historic Sursock Museum has reopened its doors after a seven-year, $15 million renovation, reports Stephanie D’Arc Taylor for The Guardian. Once the residence of arts patron Nicolas Sursock, it became a museum in the 1950s and hosted the prestigious annual Salon d’Automne, where much of the Lebanese modern art that makes up the museum’s permanent collection made its debut. “It was an important frame for artistic life in 1960s Beirut,” museum director Zeina Arida said.

The museum’s reopening includes a new exhibition hall four stories under the mansion, a 166-seat auditorium, workshops for painting restoration, and a library. “The arts in Lebanon has traditionally been an elitist thing,” Mitri told The Guardian. “But I don’t want to see the same people at every event. This was Sursock’s purpose—for the museum to be for all Lebanese.”