Lebanon conservatory gets China funding

2020-12-24 12:05:34

Walid Moussallem (second from left), director of Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, talks with officials at the school's groundbreaking ceremony. [Photo/Xinhua] A groundbreaking ceremony for the China-funded national higher conservatory near Lebanon's capital Beirut was held on Dec 18. Speaking at the ceremony in the seaside Lebanese city of Dbayeh, Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian said it is the first completely China-funded project in Lebanon, noting the Chinese company working on the conservatory managed to finish all preparations for the project despite all obstacles caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. "This is ... a landmark mega-project under the (China-proposed) Belt and Road Initiative that enhances understanding between the peoples of China and Lebanon and embodies their friendship," Wang said. The Chinese ambassador also offered his condolences for the recent death of Bassam Saba, former director of the Lebanese national conservatory, after being infected with COVID-19. With an expected cost of $62 million, the conservatory will be finished in three years. It will cover an area of 39,000 square meters and feature teaching rooms, a library, lecture and auditorium halls, as well as a theater that can host up to 1,200 people. Lebanese Culture Minister Abbas Mortada said the China-funded conservatory will serve as a meeting point for artists in Lebanon and neighboring countries in the region. "Culture constitutes a meeting point for everybody in the world. China is building, through its Belt and Road Initiative that strives for peace, a great new phase in our region," Mortada told Xinhua on the sidelines of the ceremony. Walid Moussallem, director of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, agreed that this new conservatory will serve as a space for intercultural communication and a path that would allow Lebanon to convey its message to the whole world. Xinhua