I have just returned from a trip to my mother’s beautiful homeland: Beirut. Of course, no trip would be complete without a visit to a museum or gallery and Lebanon certainly impressed with its stunning Sursock Museum.
The Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is a glittering white palace. When the sun is up its spectacular façade boasts the best combination of Venetian and Ottoman architecture, while at night its multi-coloured stained glass windows sparkle like magic. The inside of the museum is just as spectacular as its exterior. One can see the best of modern and contemporary Lebanese and Middle Eastern art across the galleries walls from the likes of Paul Guiragossian, Etel Adnan and Saloua Raouda Choucair among many others. Most of the artwork is bright and colourful – dispelling any preconceptions you may have about the Middle East.
The museum is famed for its Salon d’Automne, an open call exhibition much like the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, which first took place at the Sursock Museum in 1961. For me, the most impressive part of the museum was the Salon Arabe. This room, which is a full of marble columns and keyhole arches sits next to Nicolas Sursock’s office, giving a taste of history in a building that celebrates the new and innovative.
The Sursock Museum is simply gorgeous and a certain must-see for anyone visiting Beirut