is known as a Country "with high density of cultural assets”: with 5 World
Heritage sites as per the UNESCO classification, spread on a surface of 10452
km2. Lebanon presents a
number of relics, sites and monuments witnessing the artistic achievements of
various civilizations along the centuries, starting from the Bronze age (with
the Phoenicians) through the splendor of the Roman Empire and until the Arab rule.
The civil war and the conflict of 2006 caused serious damages to the Lebanese
heritage, worsening the degradation of monuments and archaeological sites.
Following the war, several initiatives were launched in favor of the
preservation of the cultural heritage, among which it is important to mention
the Cultural Heritage and Urban Development – CHUD program, carried out by the
Italian Development Cooperation in partnership with France (AFD) and the World
Bank and the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction.
cultural sector, as well as the tourist sector, is affected by the
institutional weakness of the Country. In a context of severe instability, it
is not possible to proceed with effective policies aimed to strengthen the
cultural heritage, both from the legislative and management points of view. The
lack of modern regulations in urban planning (drafted but yet difficult to
implement) is causing an ambiguous management of urban areas, leading to a
dispersion of the available resources, destruction and decay of the historic buildings
in favor of new constructions with significant environmental impact.