On the coast of the Mediterranean in Ras al Shaqa’, North of Lebanon stands Nabu Museum. Named after the Mesopotamian patron god of literacy, the museum offers an exceptional permanent collection of early Bronze and Iron age artifacts, antiquities from the Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Phoenician and Mesopotamian epochs, rare manuscripts and ethnographic material.
The museum’s collection also includes examples of local and regional modern and contemporary art by key artists such as Shafic Abboud, Amin al-Bacha, Helen Khal, Dia Azzawi, Shakir Hassan al-Said, Omar Onsi, Mustapha Farroukh, Ismail Fattah, Adam Henein, Khalil Gibran, Paul Guiragossian and Mahmoud Obaidi in addition to an exceptional collection of works by Saliba Douaihy.
Notable in Nabu’s collection is a unique selection of Cuneiform tablets dating from 2330 to 540 B.C.E that recount epic tales, give indications of other economic systems, information on ethnic groups and maps of ancient cities.
Working in collaboration with Iraqi-Canadian artist Mahmoud Obaidi, Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi designed the enveloping façade of the museum in weathering-steel as a monumental scripted relief based on a visual lexicon developed over his long career in painting, drawing, sculpture, and print.
The space of the museum is boldly conceived by Obaidi as a simple cube with a capacious open interior easily adaptable for changing exhibition programs. The museum houses a library with an extensive collection of books on art, archeology, history, geography, and a collection of rare manuscripts.
Chekka, el Heri