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From nighttime walks around the city to workshops on art conservation, Beirut's Sursock Museum reopens this week, touting itself Lebanon's first interactive museum of contemporary art.Closed for eight years for major renovation work, the impressive mansion-turned-museum is to open to the public from Thursday, free of charge, with exhibits honoring the history of art in Beirut. The projects are a welcome innovation for Beirut residents, whose city has no contemporary art museums and little public space.One of the museum's most prized events was the "Salon d'Automne," an invitation for artists to submit their work for a chance to have it displayed at the Sursock.From the museum's sleek newly constructed wings to the bright paintings on its walls, Sursock is a testament to "the history of art in Beirut," said the head of collections, Yasmine Chemali.The museum's architecture, too, tells the story of Beirut's evolution.Arida and Razian said they hope Sursock will contribute toward building a "museum culture" in Lebanon.
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