A virtual space for modern Lebanese art

A virtual space for modern Lebanese art
Culture: Lebanon's first museum dedicated to modern art has opened - in cyberspace.
2 min read
17 August, 2015
"Face" by Jibran Khalil Jibran (1910)

The Lebanese art museum, a project that has been in the making for decades, has finally been realised - albeit in digital form.

The Lebanese Ministry of Culture has launched the National Virtual Museum of Modern Art in cooperation with the Lebanese Academy for Fine Arts.

The site contains approximately 500 artworks by some 130 artists from various artistic schools and periods.

The site contains approximately 500 artworks by some 130 artists from various artistic schools and periods

The modest budget of the ministry of culture - in addition to the lack of resources to establish a national museum of modern art - pushed the ministry to create the website, which it believes to be an "appropriate solution", according to the Raymond Araygi, the Lebanese minister of culture.

The site, which was launched in Arabic, English and French, contains a permanent collection that covers the period between 1900 and the present.

The works displayed on the site were selected from among 1,800 pieces located in various government institutions and the ministry of culture's storage facilities, with plans to display further artworks in the future.

The site includes pictures and brief biographies of featured artists, with a special section for young artists, which is still under further construction, in addition to containing a number of documentaries on Lebanese artists.

It has not been universally successful so far, with critics taking aim at the look and accessibility of the site, complaining of a number of technical issues.

The site is not fully compatible with all internet browsers and requires the download of certain programmes to view the artworks in high quality.

Furthermore, some prominent artists appear to have been overlooked. Only contains two pieces by Gibran Khalil Gibran are featured, while his museum in the northern town of Bsharri contains more then 400 of Gibran's artworks.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.