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ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIONLebanon and SyriaBeirut Office

AGENZIA ITALIANA PER LA COOPERAZIONE ALLO SVILUPPO  - Libano e Siria - Sede di Beirut | – ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - Lebanon and Syria - Beirut Office Ambasciata d'Italia a Beirut European Union Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Lebanon

Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

Lebanon 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.

The 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.