Tile by Tile, We Rebuild Beirut
The devastating explosion on August 4th, 2020 has caused invaluable damage to Beirut's urban heritage. Large areas of Beirut are now destroyed, unrecognizable, or on their way to destruction, if rapid intervention does not occur.
Approximately 1,000 historical buildings were damaged by the explosion. These buildings included houses, apartment buildings, mansions from the 19th-century Ottoman period, and buildings from the modern period of the 1930s and beyond.
The neighborhoods most affected by the explosion are located to the southern and eastern ends of the harbor's third basin. These neighborhoods are composed of cultural, touristic, and creative spaces such as universities, schools, museums, designer shops, art galleries, craftsmen, and small trades that perpetuate the city's valuable and intangible heritage. Moreover, buildings and homes of this area are occupied by inhabitants with varying backgrounds and incomes. Throughout the capital's worst episodes in history, these neighborhoods remained inhabited, and are living witnesses to Beirut's past and present. Thus, rescuing our endangered heritage is also part of preserving the city’s history and cultural identity.
This November & December, Vintage Fine Wine & Spirits will be collaborating with the Beirut Heritage Initiative (BHI) in order to help Rebuild our beloved Capital.
Together with your help, this initiative will come to life as Vintage will be giving part of its proceeds in November and December to BHI.
Who is BHI ?
Due to this urgency, Beirut Heritage Initiative (BHI), was launched as an independent and inclusive collective, in favor of restoring the built and cultural heritage of Beirut. Beirut Heritage Initiative is organized around a team of experts with complementary skills and is based on continuous communication between all of the involved stakeholders.
BHI includes professionals and NGOs specialized in cultural heritage such as Beirut Built Heritage Rescue (BBHR2020), the National Heritage Foundation (NHF), Association pour la Protection des Sites et Anciennes Demeures au Liban (APSAD), Arab Center for Architecture (ACA), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Council Of Museums (ICOM), UN Blue Shield, Save Beirut Heritage (SBH)…
The objective of the Beirut Heritage Initiative is to safeguard the tangible and intangible heritage of Beirut and to take part in the reconstruction of the capital. Therefore, BHI seeks to:
- Carry out urgent protective measures
- Guarantee the buildings' habitability, to preserve the social fabric
- Undertake restoration work as part of a protection and enhancement plan
- Build the capacities of local artisans through specialized training
Works & Mobilization
An initial assessment has been made by architects specialized in heritage from BBHR 2020 in the areas of Saifi, Gemmayzeh, Rmeil, Mar Mikhael, Medawar, Ashrafieh, Bashoura, and Zokak el Blat. Up until now, the assessment shows that:
- 100 buildings are at risk of collapsing
- 200 buildings are heavily damaged (roof structure and façade)
- 100 buildings are moderately damaged (slightly impacted façade)
- 100 buildings are lightly damaged (windows, doors, plaster, finishes)
Finances & Transparency
To complete this colossal project, the financial management of the Beirut Heritage Initiative will be handled by the National Heritage Foundation as follows:
- Budgetary control
- Financial reports that are intended for donors and partners.