The Lebanese Ministry of Culture commented on the use of the phrase “Persian Occupation” by a tour guide during a tour organized by the National Museum as part of a party on the occasion of the Italian Saint Lucy’s Day, at the invitation of the Swedish Embassy.
The ministry said in a statement posted on Facebook that it stresses the “necessity of neutralizing our cultural heritage from all interactions,” noting that it “will spare no effort to preserve the National Museum, a civilized edifice inclusive of all Lebanese, in their history and present, free from any blemish that might distort it.” The national cultural image that the Ministry is keen to show, as an expression of Lebanon’s unity, and that it has always remained a living model for coexistence, far from any repugnant instinctive or fanatic soul.
Commenting on the controversy that arose on social media in Lebanon about this description, and the resentment expressed by some, especially in terms of innuendo from a certain political and sectarian angle, the ministry indicated that this “compromises the civilized image of the National Museum.”
She explained that “the woman to whom he was attributed inciting sectarian strife is not an employee of the ministry or the museum, and that the matter will be the subject of a report against her before the competent judiciary.”
A celebration was held a few days ago at the museum on the occasion of the feast of the Italian Saint Lucy, at the invitation of the Swedish embassy in Lebanon. Among the activities of the celebration was a tour of the sections of the National Museum, organized by a woman named Ludia Dabbas, who explained to the attendees the historical stages of the assets and their values.
She would describe the exhibits and refer them to the “Byzantine era”, for example, and another to the Ottoman and French eras, and when she reached a piece that belonged to the Persian era, she would say: “…as for this one, it goes back to the Persian occupation era.”
Source: RT + Lebanese media