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Arts and culture

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism welcomes Jack Lang to promote Lebanon as a Cultural Beacon in the Arab World

BEIRUT | - June 19, 2016, 18h45

Within the framework of the partnership between the Tourism Office of Lebanon in Paris and the Arab World Institute, H.E. Lebanese Minister of Tourism, Michel Pharaon hosted Mr. Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe) and Founder of “La Fête de Musique” (35th edition in France), in Lebanon from June 18 to 20, 2016, to promote arts and culture across Lebanon, meet Lebanese artists and creators and visit different museums and art galleries. The official agenda included the inauguration of the sculpture Museum of Assaf Assaf in Ain Zhalta, followed by a luncheon at Pharaon’s house in Ain Zhalta in the presence of president of the Socialist Party, MP Walid Junblat and HE French Ambassador to Lebanon, Emanuel Bonn.

The date of this three-day visit was chosen in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Embassy of France in Lebanon to coincide with the “Fete de la Musique” in Beirut. The official delegation took part in a tour of various Lebanese art and culture sites, such as the Sursock Museum, Beit Beirut cultural house, the Aishti Foundation, as well as various Fete de La Musique performances. The purpose of this visit is to underline the position of Lebanon as a cultural beacon of the Arab World, due to its prominence in the cultural realm.

“Lebanon is a country rich with heritage and culture, and we have continued to celebrate its long-standing history through various forms,” said H.E. Lebanese Minister of Tourism, Michel Pharaon. “In addition, the Lebanese tourism industry continues to be boosted by the offerings of the nation, complimented by the rise of diverse artists, sharing their talents with the world, via art, music and sculpture,” he added. 

“The ties between France and Lebanon continue to be strengthened on various levels. With this visit, we seek to shed light on Lebanon, being a cultural capital and a country that invests in its artistic scene,” said Mr. Lang, President of the Arab World Institute. Lang served as France's Minister of Culture and Minister of Education throughout numerous terms, in the 1990s and 2000s.

Mr. Lang, visited the Yellow House in Sodeco on Saturday afternoon, where he met Architect Youssef Haidar who underlined the support provided by the city of Paris to the project, which has allowed the creation of a cultural center serving as a civil war memorial, which has become vital to revive the long forgotten history of Lebanon.  

Commenting on the visit, Mr. Pharaon shared: "We are very pleased to receive you and Mr. Lang in this prestigious setting. Mr. Lang wanted to be present at La Fête de La Musique, which added value to the festival. We are pleased to welcome you to this festival as president of the Institute of the Arab World, as a friend of Lebanon. In Lebanon, we need you and France, not only to defend our sovereignty, but to defend our values of civilization, democracy, art and culture. You are a symbol of all these values ​​and Lebanon is counting on you. Tonight we have with us art lovers, who work alongside the state; civil society initiatives that protect these values ​​and we are here to support them."

Mr. Lang added: "France has for Lebanon a deep friendship and affection. Today, as president of the Institute of the Arab world, where Lebanon is showcased on a weekly basis, we are preparing major projects to which Lebanon is associated. In October, there will an exhibition on the works of Etel Adnan, who is as astonishing as she is exceptional. The other project is the most important to this date to cover the Orient’s Christians, it's 2000 years of history that we would like to narrate through an event that brings together art and exceptional collections in the fall of 'next year.”

Currently, Mr. Lang is the President of the Arab World Institute, an organization founded in Paris in 1980, by 18 Arab countries. Its aim is to research and disseminate information about the Arab world and its cultural and spiritual values. The Institute also seeks to promote cooperation and exchanges between various Arab nations. Mr. Lang has also founded “La Fête de la Musique”, being the public festival celebrating music and its arts throughout France since 1982.

#ArabWorld, #FetedelaMusique
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