Mummies restoration: Marco Samadelli, Eurac Bolzano
Scientific and technical contribution: Grace Homsy-Gottwalles, Marie Lamaa, Nathalie Alam, Isabelle Doumet-Skaf, May Haider, Nathalie Hanna, Marco Samadelli, Silvia Tribolati, Julien Aliquot, Gassia Artin, Karl Azzam, Françoise Briquel-Chatonnet, Maya Haidar-Boustani, Jimmy Daccache, Hermann Genz, Nada Kallas, P. Joseph Moukarzel, Francisco Núñez, Hélène Sader, Jean-Paul Thalmann, Corine Yazbeck, Jean-Baptiste Yon
Project management: Anna Dal Maso, Georges Cherabie
Communication and visibility: Marco Giallonardi
Graphic design and tombs reconstruction: Davide Falzone
Locked away for over 40 years, artifacts depicting several millennia of funerary arts, rituals and creed are once again visible to the public. Commissioned by the Directorate General of Antiquities in collaboration with the Italian government, the restoration team has converted the basement chamber of the museum from a storage room to an exhibition gallery for 520 objects excavated from all over Lebanon.
Designed by Italian architect Antonio Giammarusti, the museum displays a formal continuity with the upper floors in terms of color codes. The open space on the exhibition offers different perspectives. The visitor encounters six chronologically arranged panels that traverse the Paleolithic, Bronze, Iron, Roman, Byzanthine, Medieval and Ottoman periods. A sailing ship carved onto a sarcophagus greets those entering the room, as if to signal a journey back through the time. Light is used to create a dramatic effect befitting the funerary theme of the basement gallery. Peering into the glass vitrines, the spectator is able to take in intimate details of the everyday life of longgone ancestors. Each object has a story and all the objects were put in context so they could tell that story.