(MENAFN - Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA)) Isaura Daniel
São Paulo – Tripoli International Fair complex in Lebanon, projected by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the 60s, will be the theme of an exhibition from February 6 to 28 at Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center in Beirut. The show will include photos of the work in its several stages, in addition to objects and documents referring to the project, such as a fair model, letters and a sculpture.
According to the head of the educational and cultural department of Brazil's embassy in Beirut Thiago Oliveira, the goal is to draw the public attention to the building and the need for maintenance and public use of the space. The Tripoli International Fair complex construction was interrupted by the Lebanese civil war in 1975. The place was used for military ends, is now open for visitation, but is not occupied for regular activities otherwise, according to Oliveira.
'We want to give visibility to this project, get people to know the importance of Niemeyer's work and to take an interest in its conservation,' Oliveira told ANBA. The exhibition is held by Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center and the Embassy of Brazil in Beirut, in collaboration with Wassim Naghi Architects and Niemeyer Heritage Foundation Tripoli.
Niemeyer is considered the greatest among Brazilian architects. He was responsible for the project of Brasilia and worked abroad, receiving international recognition. Among his works overseas are the collaboration in the project for the United Nations headquarters in New York, French Communist Party building, Constantine University in Algeria, and a cultural center in Spain.
In Brazil, his works include the wave-shaped building COPAN, Ibirapuera Park, and Latin America Memorial, all in São Paulo, Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí in Rio de Janeiro, cathedral Rainha da Paz, and Superior Court of Justice (STJ, acronym in Portuguese), both in Brasilia.
In 1962, Niemeyer was commissioned by the Lebanese government to design a complex for international fairgrounds in Tripoli, Lebanon. Although the construction was interrupted, the complex consists of 15 buildings and 8 acres. Despite being a Lebanese public space, the work is also seen as a Brazilian cultural patrimony because of its architect.
The exhibition opening will be February 6 from 7 to 9 pm, and include a lectured by the architect Wassim Naghi. He is president of the Architects Branch at the Order of Engineers and Architects in Tripoli. Having been born at the city where Niemeyer's building is, he advocates for the complex restauration. He will talk about the history and importance of the Tripoli International Fair. The photos and documents in the exhibition belong to Naghi's archive, with participation of the photographer Anthony Saroufim.
A fair model and a sculpture by Lebanese artist Nabil Helou will also be exhibited. Two documentaries will be shown in the course of the exhibition. One of them is 'Niemeyer 4ever,' which talks about the architect's work in Lebanon and may be seen Februyary 13. The film is directed by Nicolas Khoury, who will be present at the occasion. The documentary 'Life is a Breath,' with Niemeyer's biography, directed by Fabiano Maciel, will be screened February 19.