British Museum
Fri 7 Oct 2022
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Shattered glass of Beirut: a story of repair and collaboration image

On the evening of 4 August 2020, a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate exploded at the port of Beirut.
The blast killed at least 218 people, injured 7,000 and displaced 300,000 as well as causing $15bn of damage. The immediate and lasting effects have been deeply traumatic, not just for Beirut’s citizens but for all Lebanese people.
Just over 3km from the epicentre, at the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut(Opens in new window) (AUB), a case displaying 74 glass vessels was destroyed, the shards of ancient glass mixing with those from the case and surrounding windows, seemingly inextricable. The story of the restoration of eight of these vessels is a powerful expression of the grief, solidarity and recovery of the people of Lebanon.
In this event, Dr Nadine Panayot, Curator of the Archaeological Museum at the AUB, will be joined by Project Curator Dr Zeina Klink-Hoppe and Arts Scholars Senior Inorganics Conservator Dr Duygu Camurcuoglu from the British Museum. They’ll discuss the international collaboration which has brought these shattered vessels to the Museum’s world-class conservation centre and, piece by piece, put them back together again.
The eight vessels on display in the Asahi Shimbun Displays (Room 3) Shattered glass of Beirut until 23 October 2022, collectively speak of the rich cultural heritage of the wider region – and now tell new stories through the scars they bear.