Eng. Diego Aisa told us about the restoration workshop experience in Lebanon, organised by the Italian Trade Agency and Assorestauro
A few days ago we talked about a workshop in Lebanon organized by the Italian Trade Agency and Assorestauro. The event focused on issues such as the conservation of archaeological sites and the renovation of the historic monuments of the country. It took place on july 25-28 and hosted a delegation of ten Italian companies working in this field.
The aim of the workshop was to promote the most advanced restoration techniques by means of local professionals in order to start a coooperation between Italy and Lebanon, aimed at protecting the heritage of remarkable historical and cultural value.
Kimia took part in the event in Lebanon with Eng. Diego Aisa. Our Export Manager, besides representing us during the workshop, played the role of the "photojournalist", seizing the most significant moments of the event.
Photos of the days spent in Lebanon have been largely published on our Facebook page, which we invite you to visit. Diego is going to explain us how it was.
Hi Diego, let's talk about the Workshop in Lebanon. What about it?
Very well. Many interesting ideas, we have started contacts with both Italian and Lebanese professionals and companies, willing to deepen mutual knowledge and launch collaborative projects.
The climate among companies was really great, very positive, cheerful and friendly. The coordination of ITA Beirut and Assorestauro made the experience truly profitable and constructive from all points of view.
We saw you at work as a photographer too. Please tell us something more about Lebanon...
As far as I could see I could define it as a vibrant melting pot between the East and the West. Lebanon is a fascinating and at the same time a very complex country. On one hand, it preserves the archaeological, urban and architectural traces of its history and events, on the other hand it offers horizons and skylines that are extraordinarily modern and still evolving The archaeological sites of Baalbeck and Tyre are really magical places!
In Lebanon there are active programs to protect local heritage in which Italy plays a leading role. What is the situation at the moment?
Definitely dynamic: the DGA (Directorate General of Antiquities), the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), the Lebanese / Syrian Cultural Heritage Safeguarding Office and the Syrian Ministry of Culture have illustrated so many projects, hard to summarise.
During the workshop, several restoration interventions planned for the upcoming years have emerged in the framework of the CHUD (Cultural Heritage and Urban Development) projects, which today provides more than 100 million dollars funded by the World Bank and international co-operation.
Certainly, in this context, Italy seems to be a strategic partner for Lebanon for the execution of works, as several specialized companies are already involved in archaeological sites and monumental historic renovation, and for the supply of materials .
It is worth remembering that our country is one of Lebanon's leading suppliers. We are second only to China and our exports of building products, according to data quoted by ITA Beirut, have increased by 4% in the last year.
The workshop was a meeting point but also a cultural and habits exchange. Now what is the level of knowledge in the restoration industry in Lebanon?
It's hard to judge. Even though the companies and designers with whom I have been able to talk to have shown great competence and curiosity, the technical and institutional representatives have repeatedly highlighted the need for better training of local workers in order to more accurately manage many delicate and complex works.
What contribution can Italian companies make in this field?
Training on the job, training, machinery, equipment, technical products, operational support during the design phase and work direction: Italian know-how can be very useful in all areas directly and indirectly linked to the renovation, enhancement of monumental and urban heritage of the country.
Among the Kimia solutions introduced, what kind of technologies have been more successful?
As we expect composite materials aroused the greatest interest. This is shown by many questions received during their application and in B2B meetings about aspects such as the durability, reversibility and compatibility of those systems.
The experience gained in more than thirty years of applications has certainly been crucial to reassuring those who considered not good performing works using too innovative and unmanaged composites.