Italy and UNESCO Signed Deal To Restore Railway Station

A deal was reached between Italy and UNESCO regarding the restoration of the industrial historic monument, and as a result, parts of the damaged Beirut Railway Station in the Mar Mikhael neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital will soon be repaired using foreign funds.

According to a formal statement from UNESCO, the agreement stipulated that the Italian government would provide 2 million euros (about 2.21 million US dollars) through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, a public body, for the recovery work.

UNESCO’s Multisectoral Regional Office in Beirut director Costanza Farina said the initiative “is a testament to our shared commitment to improve the livability of Beirut and strategically contribute to its revitalization.”

According to Farina, the initiative would facilitate everyone’s participation in social and cultural activities as a public space, with a special focus on the most disadvantaged during periods of significant socioeconomic difficulty for the country.

In addition, it was declared in the announcement that UNESCO will preserve the site’s original function, cultural relevance, and authenticity.

The station (built in 1894) was reportedly abandoned during the Lebanese Civil War and damaged by explosives near the Beirut harbour in 2020, according to UNESCO.

According to many newspapers, UN-Habitat would apparently build a public green space inside the 10,000 square metres of the railway station area as part of one of two connected projects that make up the restoration.

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