As part of UNESCO’s flagship initiative “LiBeirut,” UNESCO and Italy signed today, Monday, July 23rd, an agreement to finance the restoration and rehabilitation of the industrial heritage assets of the Beirut Mar Mikhael Train Station, mobilizing €2,000,000. The Mar Mikhael Train Station, which dates from 1894 and was abandoned during the Civil War, was impacted by the Beirut Port Blast on August 4, 2020.

The announcement was made during a signing ceremony held by UNESCO, the Italian Embassy in Beirut, and AICS (the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation) at the Mar Mikhael Train Station.

This project is part of a comprehensive intervention funded by Italy to preserve the industrial heritage of Mar Mikhael’s old train station and open the space to the public.

Italy’s grant will allow UNESCO to preserve the initial function of the site and its cultural value and authenticity while creating a platform for social connection, cultural experience, and artistic creativity. This is expected to foster social and cultural connection by providing an open space for artists to work and market their products.

“Protecting and promoting cultural heritage can be a driver for sustainable development while also reinforcing the identity of a nation,” says the Italian ambassador to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardiere.

“This initiative is a testament to our joint commitment to enhance Beirut’s livability and to strategically contribute to its revival. As an open space for the public, the project will support social and cultural participation for all people,” said Costanza Farina, Director of the UNESCO office in Beirut.

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