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"Everything has changed in the world, not only in Lebanon," observes Lina Kiryakos Chidiac.Kiryakos Chidiac is the chairman and general manager of Artistic Cultural Events sal (ACE), a company created by Saradar Group to build and manage a collection of Lebanese modern and contemporary art, with the goal of launching a private museum to house that collection.Saradar's is one of several Lebanese art museum projects to have been announced in the past few years. More recently Tony Salameh, proprietor of Metropolitan Art Society, announced plans to erect a museum for the Aishti collection.At that point Saradar Group chairman Mario Saradar suggested the company build its own collection.To build its collection, ACE assembled an international panel of experts – Christine Tohme, founding director of Ashkal Alwan; veteran Lebanese critic Joe Tarrab; U.K. curator and writer Jessica Morgan who, since 2010, has overseen international art at London's Tate Modern; Sandra Dagher, co-founder and former co-director of the Beirut Art Center; art historian, photographer and educator Gregory Buchakjian; curator Catherine David, who since 2014 has been deputy director of Centre Pompidou's Musee National d'Art Moderne; Saleh Barakat, founder of Agial Gallery, and specialist in modern art in Lebanon and the region.When describing the artists whose work has so far been acquired, Kiryakos Chidiac stresses that the collection is only two to three years old and is still very much a work in progress.The project is being designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, but Portzamparc hasn't been commissioned to work on the museum.
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