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Subject: Temple of Jupiter at Baalbeck

Temple of Jupiter at Baalbeck

From: Judith Weingarten <judith_weingarten>
Date: Tuesday, June 16, 1998
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I have just returned from Lebanon and am sorry to report that the
authorities responsible for the temples of Baalbeck have caused (or
allowed) a gross disfigurement in the courtyard of the Temple of
Jupiter: a concrete path of ca. 6 meters wide and some hundreds of
meters long has been constructed around the circuit of the
courtyard.  Besides endangering the stones of the walls and the
exedra's, the path  is hideous to see, ruinous and inauthentic (to
put it mildly), and entirely inappropriate for such a monument.
Another ring of cement has been laid in the underground passages.

It is my understanding that the authorities have done this "to
prevent infiltration of water" in connection with the German
Archaeological Association's exposition next year commemorating the
start of excavations at Baalbeck in 1899.  I can scarcely believe
that our German colleagues have approved this desecration of the
site, but rather suspect they will be as surprised and horrified as
I was when they see what has happened.  It is now urgent that this
cement be removed, preferably immediately but certainly after the
German exposition (if that is indeed why it is there). What can we
do?  Should we individually or collectively write to the Director
General of Antiquities: Dr Camille Asmar, at the  National Museum in
Beirut?

The Dutch Ambassador to Lebanon, H.E. Ronald Mollinger, who visited
the site with me, has already written to the World Heritage Centre
at UNESCO (to Mr Georges Zouein, Directeur Adjoint).  I understand
that UNESCO has a meeting next week in Paris .... should some
further action be taken here?

I look forward to your suggestions, and ask you kindly to send this
message on to other interested groups or individuals, especially
those in Germany who should be alerted.

Judith

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:3
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 16, 1998
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Received on Tuesday, 16 June, 1998

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