Lebanon/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies

Since its establishment, the MoC has had no structure based on a cultural strategy that reflects and maintains Lebanon identity. Recently, the parliament passed a number of laws regulating "the structure of MoC and its affiliated institutions as well as cultural property and heritage". These laws have many gaps, most notably the flagrant contradiction between the law of cultural property and the current law of antiquities, due to the absence of any plan to promote or maintain the Lebanese intellectual and cultural heritage, though the latter is an important component in the social, community and individual identity and in social cohesion. This is also because of the absence of any comprehensive plan for the management of the national heritage rebuilt on the basis of modern concepts especially in urban areas where confrontation is continuous, and also because of the lack of specialized research centers to collect the Lebanese intellectual and anthropologic heritage, and to conduct research to maintain cultural diversity. This is also because of the failure to establish forums and cultural centers in the regions, to encourage people to frequent them and provide support to theater, cinema, exhibitions (art, heritage, craft and environmental) and museums (archaeological, historical, musical, military and naval, craft and environmental), and finally the failure to provide incentives and facilities that match the income of citizens and students. However, the entry fees of museums are high for Lebanese locals, whereas visiting such national landmarks is supposed to be free of charges or at nominal prices.

There is a prevailing belief among a large number of Lebanese and non-Lebanese people that museum admission costs - especially for the national museum – are too high. In a simple questionnaire about the perceived cost of admission tickets, peoples’ answers ranged between 10000LL and 45000LL). While the actual value of admission for Lebanese or non-Lebanese students is actually only 1000LL, and 5000 LL for adults.

The admission costs of most of the archeological sites in Lebanon do not exceed 5000LL, and the cost drops to 3000 LL for students.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016