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When the European Union in Lebanon hosted a discussion on architectural conservation and urban heritage in Beirut recently, it staged the event at Villa Paradiso – a recently restored urban villa in Gemmayzeh that's currently the EU ambassador's residence.In 2016, the EU made the villa its ambassador's residence and uses it to hold various events.EU Ambassador Christina Lassen took advantage of the Villa Paradiso event to announce that the municipality had purchased "Beit Fairouz" – the working-class house in Zoqaq al-Blat where the famed vocalist grew up – with the intention of safeguarding it. She said that new legislation currently before Parliament would allow urban conservation to flourish.Haidar's is among a chorus of voices that have argued that conservation goes beyond the physical stone. By saving old houses, a collective memory associated with them is being saved, he said.
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