A compromise was struck between Italy and UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) about the restoration of the industrial historic monument, and as a result, elements of the damaged Beirut Railway Station in the Lebanese capital’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood will soon be repaired with foreign finance.
In accordance with the agreement, the Italian government would provide 2 million euros (about 2.21 million US dollars) through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, a public organization, for the recovery work, according to an official statement from UNESCO.
The effort, according to Costanza Farina, director of UNESCO’s Multisectoral Regional Office in Beirut, “is a testament to our shared commitment to improve the livability of Beirut and strategically contribute to its revitalization.”
As a public area, the project would support the social and cultural engagement of all people, Farina stated, paying special attention to the most vulnerable during times of serious socio-economic challenges in the nation.
The announcement further stated that UNESCO would maintain the site’s original purpose as well as its cultural significance and authenticity.
According to UNESCO, the station (constructed in 1894) was abandoned during the Lebanese Civil War and damaged by explosives at the Beirut port in 2020.
Public green space will reportedly be constructed by UN-Habitat inside the 10,000 square meters of the railway station area as part of one of two connected projects that make up the restoration, according to several publications.