About 60 historic buildings in Beirut have been damaged by the explosion to such an extent that they are in danger of collapsing. The Lebanese Ministry of Culture and UN organization UNESCO warn about this, which reports that 580 other historic buildings have also been affected.
In total, about eight thousand buildings were damaged by last week’s explosion. Many of the buildings were located in the Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael districts, near the site of the exploded warehouse.
Among the heavily damaged buildings are museums, galleries and religious sites. The National Museum of Beirut, the Sursock Museum and the Archaeological Museum, among others, have been affected.
Lebanese authorities have asked UNESCO for help in preserving and rescuing these buildings. A first step would be to make these buildings water resistant, because rain can now enter through broken roofs and windows.
Many historic buildings have been taken over by owners in recent years to set up restaurants and bars. According to The Guardian Owners of damaged historic buildings are now being approached by investors, who are expected to replace them with flats or other commercial buildings.
The Sursock Museum was badly damaged by the August 4 explosion. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Streak through opportunism
The Lebanese Ministry of Finance decided on Wednesday that the sale of historic buildings is no longer allowed without explicit government approval. This should limit the opportunism created by investors by the explosion.
It is not known how much the restoration of the buildings will cost. According to the governor of Beirut, the explosion at the port caused about $ 10 billion (almost € 8.5 billion) in damage.