Project Aims To Finish Brazil’S Niemeyer’S Work In Lebanon

(MENAFN- Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA))
Project Aims To Finish Brazil’S Niemeyer’S Work In Lebanon Image

São Paulo – In Tripoli , Lebanon, one of the buildings designed in the 1960s by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer remains unfinished. This is a reality a group of artists now wants to change. Sociocultural activists came together to create ONE for art JV, the initiative in charge of Projection One . Its goal is to raise funds for rehabilitating the Oscar Niemeyer Experimental Circular Theater , also known as“The Dome.”

The site is the only unfinished building at Tripoli, Lebanon's rachid karami International Fair complex. The theater would have a capacity of 1,100 seats, and the project's goal is to make it the biggest stage for all performing arts in North Lebanon, where the complex sits. Tripoli is the second largest city in the country.

Project Aims To Finish Brazil’S Niemeyer’S Work In Lebanon Image

The Oscar Niemeyer Experimental Circular Theater is also known as“The Dome.”

“On the opening night, an unprecedented symphony concert would show the tremendous potential of this magical space and serve as a delivery of Niemeyer's legacy to bring his modernist achievement back to life,” said Ambassador Carla Jazzar, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Lebanon in Brasilia.

In an interview with ANBA, she gave details of the initiative.“At the same time, it would create job opportunities and stir a circular economy process, reconnect Lebanese regions and people, improve cultural tourism and, particularly, local discovery through the universal language of music. After this first event, the venue rental fees would generate revenue for the complex's management to maintain and/or restore the venue's infrastructure,” said Jazzar.

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ONE for art JV has members such as Jorge Takla, Brazilian music director; Harout Fazlian, main conductor of the Lebanon Philharmonic Orchestra; Wassim Naghi, architect, professor, and international lecturer, responsible for submitting Niemeyer's architectural complex to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage; Joelle Hajjar, curator, producer, and art historian; Rania Cortbawi, an interior designer with projects in Lebanon and abroad; Lea Baroudi, founder of the MARCH NGO, which has been operating in Tripoli for nine years; and Hyam Yared, writer and president of the PEN association for French-speaking writers.

Project Aims To Finish Brazil’S Niemeyer’S Work In Lebanon Image

The space was designed in the 1960s but remains unfinished

According to Jazzar, all technical and logistical studies were prepared together with the preliminary approval of the complex managers and official entities. Now, the project is in the fundraising stage.

For this reason, the Lebanese Embassy in Brazil is promoting the project with the country's authorities and the Lebanese community.“Since the beginning, we have been working together with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussing with the Ministry of Culture, Oscar Niemeyer Foundation, and other institutions, both at the government level and civil society, to draw attention and attract sponsors for this project to strengthen the ties between our two countries further,” she said.

The project has already managed to get the entire acoustic system sponsored by the Saint-Gobain company. Other commitments were also signed with LBC International to be the main media partner of the action, in addition to Commercial Insurance covering all phases of the project. In addition, social enterprises Sustain Lebanon and Live Love Lebanon will participate in the crowdfunding process, and the project is expected to be supported by the Saadallah and Loubna Khalil Foundation for Education and Culture.

Homage to Niemeyer

As the complex was designed by Niemeyer, a tribute to the Brazilian is planned.“It's part of the plan to welcome a representative of his family and present a special trophy on the opening night of a highly publicized event. We intend to project a short film about the history of the complex and Niemeyer's achievement, using original and extremely rare archives. This film could also be used in Brazil, in schools and television channels to publicize this tremendous architectural feat by Niemeyer outside his home country,” explained the ambassador.

The diplomat recalled, however, that the planned budget must be reached to achieve the goals.“[This is a way to] help save Niemeyer's legacy in Lebanon, which is in danger of disappearing, and bring it back to life, through people's participation in the fundraising operation, especially after being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the first and only 20th-century complex in the Middle East to be listed. The first and greatest work by Oscar Niemeyer outside the Americas,” she concluded.

More information:

Translated by Elúsio Brasileiro

©Eric Lafforgue/Hans Lucas/AFP ©Eric Lafforgue/Hans Lucas/AFP ©Eric Lafforgue/Hans Lucas/AFP

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Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA)

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