At a time when Lebanon is making headlines for all the wrong reasons, it’s refreshing to be part of a campaign that aims to bring recognition to our culture, art, history, beauty, and big talents. So when the Lebanese Ministry of Culture invited me to be the ambassador and attend the opening of the Lebanese Museum of Modern Arts in Paris, which I posted about here, I jumped at the privilege, but little did I know, I was in for a surprise.
I was told that the opening would take place on the evening of my arrival to Paris and had therefore planned my day accordingly. Upon my arrival at the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe, the head concierge of the hotel warmly welcomed me and ushered me into the business centre conference room. Conference room? What was going on? Next she handed me the phone. “Hello Dana, this is the Minister.“
H.E. Minister of Culture Mr. Araigi personally explained to me the real purpose behind my trip to Paris; “Yes, you are here for the opening of a museum, but this is not your typical museum, welcome to the National Virtual Museum of Modern Art, that can be accessed online from anywhere in the world.”
At that moment I realized I was part of stunt, I had a feeling something was up all along but I couldn’t figure it out. And then it made sense. The message was clear. A virtual museum in Paris, Rome, and well, everywhere else.
Yes, the actual museum experience is beautiful. No one can attest to that. But by developing a Virtual Museum, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture proves its commitment to public access, giving visitors the opportunity to be part of a cultural journey to diverse art schools and Lebanese artists, from classical paintings and sculptures all the way to abstraction and modernism. This virtual museum also helps establish a digital directory of Lebanese contemporary art.
My favorite part is the section of the Virtual Museum is the one dedicated to showcasing the works of promising talents, who are playing a major role in reviving Lebanese art and who deserve this kind of platform. And for art connoisseurs, there’s another section you can browse, temporary exhibitions devoted to sharing artworks from private collections, which otherwise would have remained unseen by the public.
Like a traditional museum, the online tour currently houses four exhibition rooms and galleries, that allow users to scroll through a user-friendly interface and click on the digital collections, in full screen mode. You can now also download the virtual museum mobile App MVAM and browse through the museum from your phones.
Following a beautiful couple of days in Paris I joined the Minister of Culture and Najib Mitri from Blog Baladi to discuss this inauguration of the National Virtual Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday at a press conference in Sursock Museum.
I want to thank the Ministry and team for selecting me as an ambassador for this campaign, it makes me proud to be part of a project on this national scale. I invite you to take a tour of the National Virtual Museum of Modern Arts by visiting the online site here artmodernemv.gov.lb
A special thank you to the professional and creative team at IPN for their efforts, volunteering to take on this campaign with no charge, and doing the amazing work they do!