The struggle to save Sursock Palace after Beirut blast –

The palace owned by the Lebanese and Anglo-Irish family, the Sursock Cochranes, suffered extensive damage to its building and artwork during the Beirut port blast last August, writes Hannah McCarthy.

The damage, caused by the 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which ignited last August at the port, has placed an enormous burden on a population of Beirut that was already struggling with economic and political meltdown.

Since 2019, when the economic situation in the country quickly deteriorated, Lebanese banks have imposed strict capital controls on their customers. As a result, the majority of the population (those without high-level political connections) have only been able to withdraw the equivalent of a few hundred dollars from their accounts, even after the port blast, which left 300,000 people homeless.

There are now fears that the historic neighbourhoods surrounding the Sursock Palace, which were already under threat before the port blast, will disappear, as

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