China-funded conservatory in Lebanon
BEIRUT: The Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music funded by the Chinese government near Lebanon’s capital Beirut will be a center of attraction for the Middle East region, said Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday.
“It wouldn’t have been possible to build this artistic and cultural beacon if it wasn’t for the cooperation between the Chinese and Lebanese governments,” Mikati told Xinhua while he visited the conservatory to check the completion of the project’s first phase.
Mikati thanked the Chinese government for constructing the “icon building,” stressing that “China has made this dream come true.”
The prime minister said he hopes Lebanon cooperates with China on a bigger scale.
“The Chinese government expressed its readiness to support Lebanon in all fields,” he noted, adding that Lebanon will soon receive support from China in the field of solar energy.
For his part, Qian Minjian, the Chinese ambassador to Lebanon, said this project, which will be completed in a year and a half, will allow the Lebanese people “to have access to a professional place to enjoy great performances.”
“This project will be a symbol of the friendship between Lebanon and China to strengthen ties between the two peoples, and a successful example of joint work under the Belt and Road Initiative,” Qian said.
The ambassador reiterated China’s readiness to continue supporting Lebanon on all levels.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada said Mikati’s visit to the conservatory conveys the message that Lebanon is keen to preserve its cultural identity while working on restoring its cultural role.
He added that the China-funded conservatory will play a tremendous role by attracting people eager to learn music from around the world.
The conservatory began its construction in December 2020 and will take three years to finish.
With an expected cost of 62 million U.S. dollars, the conservatory covers an area of 39,000 square meters. It features teaching rooms, a library, lecture and auditorium halls, and a theater that can host up to 1,200 people. – Xinhua