Deadly Explosions in Beirut Leave Art Spaces in Ruins

A series of blasts took place this Tuesday that left over 70 people dead and over 4,000 injured.

By
Arts
5,808 Hypes 6 Comments

This Tuesday, two massive explosions at the Port of Beirut left over 70 people dead and over 4,000 injured. In its initial report, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency announced that a fire broke out near the Beirut Port. Lebanon’s Prime Minister told the public that an investigation is currently happening in regards to the 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate that was housed at the site for the past six years. The government recently declared a two-week state of emergency, giving the military full control in the capital. The terrifying incident only amplifies the Lebanon’s already-delicate state with the country on the brink of financial collapse even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

The explosions sent ripples of destruction across the Lebanese capital, damaging countless buildings from where it had occured. Major art galleries, including Marfa Gallery, located close to Beirut’s Port, and Galerie Tanit were entirely decimated. According to The Art Newspaper, Galerie Tanit had hosted a private viewing on Monday evening for the Lebanese artist Abed Al Kadiri’s solo exhibition “Remains of the Last Red Rose” that was set to run until September 25. Moreover, Opera Gallery’s Beirut outpost, situated in the city’s downtown neighborhood was also destroyed.

“One of my employees is in intensive care and the gallery has been damaged,” said gallery owner Saleh Barakat. “We barely had the time to close the open vitrines to protect the artworks and are now in the hospital to be with our colleague.”

The Sursock Museum, a 19th-century establishment that mounts modern and contemporary art was also severely damaged. “This is the strongest explosion I have ever witnessed,” said the museum’s director Zeina Arida who was at the museum when the explosion hit. “The museum is devastated.” Fortunately, none of the staff at the museum were wounded. “A lot of damage has been done to the structure of the building at a time when the dollar in Lebanon is so high that I don’t know how we will afford to buy new glass for the skylights, the windows and the exit doors,” added Arida. “We don’t have the means to buy new materials.”

The museum contained the collection of the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation (DAF) spanning over 4,000 works by around 400 artists from across the Arab world. Although much of the works were harmed by the explosions, the galleries still remain intact, said the director Basel Dalloul. “The shockwave of the explosion blew in glass all over the city,” he adds.

The country is currently searching for missing people while giving treatment to the many injured. Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun has approved to take out 100 billion Lebanese pounds from the government’s 2020 budget for emergency aid and recovery.

You can make donations to the Red Cross treating the wounded in Lebanon here.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Survey: How Does Gaming Influence Culture?
Gaming

Survey: How Does Gaming Influence Culture?

Responses are entered for a chance to win $600 USD to spend at HBX.

Joe Freshgoods and MCA Chicago Want You to Know "The Youth in You is Happy"
Fashion

Joe Freshgoods and MCA Chicago Want You to Know "The Youth in You is Happy"

The pair’s second capsule collection of apparel, posters and more.

The Streets and IDLES Connect for New Music Video
Music

The Streets and IDLES Connect for New Music Video

The title track to ‘None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive.’


Air Jordan 7 "China" Pays Homage to Beijing's Forbidden City
Footwear

Air Jordan 7 "China" Pays Homage to Beijing's Forbidden City

With details and colors inspired by the palace’s maps, architecture and stone carvings.

Paraplegic Skateboarder Dan Pelletier on What Motivates Him to Skate
Sports

Paraplegic Skateboarder Dan Pelletier on What Motivates Him to Skate

“My dream is to land a backside 360 for this year.”

Tate Britain Addresses the "Most Amusing Room in Europe's” Racist Imagery
Arts

Tate Britain Addresses the "Most Amusing Room in Europe's” Racist Imagery

The museum changed the website description of its restaurant following public outcry.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. By adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.