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Access the restored beauty and culture of the National Museum of Beirut

Learn how oVRlebanon is bringing local Lebanon history to life with Matterport

The National Museum of Beirut has undergone extensive restoration efforts since it suffered damage from an explosion last year. The Louvre,  General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA) and the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage (ALIPH) reached out to oVRlebanon to capture the space with Matterport so that they would be able to share the preserved histories and artifacts within the museum with a wider, global audience on its website.

We spoke with Elias Alhaber, founder and CEO of oVRlebanon, to discover how his company is using digital twin technology to make Lebanon and its cultural institutions more accessible and immersive in the digital future.

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What inspired the 3D capture of this space?

The National Museum of Beirut suffered extensive damage in the explosion on August 4, 2020. Reporting to the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon, the DGA of Lebanon submitted an emergency aid project to ALIPH in Conflict Areas, which was led by the Louvre Museum, entitled “Beirut Assist Cultural Heritage.” The National Museum of Beirut restoration project was then successfully implemented with financial support from ALIPH. 

The Louvre, DGA, and ALIPH foundation reached out to oVRlebanon — as the leading virtual tour and Matterport service provider in Lebanon, and soon in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region under oVRmena — to create a digital twin of the space. They knew that we could easily and professionally handle the 3D capture of such a huge space with different sized objects and extensive details.

It took the oVRlebanon team two days to capture all three floors and we are continuously working to add descriptive Mattertags which will make the virtual visit as guided and informative as possible.

What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

Visitors can start by going down the stairs to Level One where they can learn all about the Funerary Art through the Ages of Lebanon. They can virtually explore the Paleolithic, Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, and Ottoman Periods. 

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I also recommend reading the Phoenician Inscriptions and checking out the Anthropoid Sarcophagi Gallery, the tomb of Tyre, and the Mummies of ‘Assi el Hadath cave from Qadisha Valley.

Going to Level 0 or the ground floor, visitors can find many extremely beautiful mosaics, including some Byzantine Mosaics. They can also find two wonderful carved sarcophagi from Tyre dating from the second century and the much-loved Phoenician statues of baby boys.

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Do you have any plans to capture more 3D experiences?

With the excessive electricity outage, fuel shortage, and crises Lebanon is facing — and as Matterport service providers in Lebanon — it’s our duty to make it possible for everyone to continue to visit, explore, shop, or even book, from the comfort of their home.

We have already created multiple virtual tours in Lebanon and are now very experienced in capturing, scanning, modeling, and marketing Matterport digital twins. 

Because we believe that the future is virtual, our plans are now bigger and we’re looking forward to creating more virtual retail stores, showrooms, galleries, museums, properties, businesses, and other shopping experiences.

Anything else you would like to add?

Matterport in Lebanon is changing the way our community is virtually visiting, exploring, and shopping from physical spaces.

Despite the fact that virtual reality in Lebanon wasn’t common, the immersive quality our clients and their customers are experiencing when exploring any of the Matterport digital twins is out of this world. In fact, our analytics are showing that on average, a visitor explores a virtual tour for about four and a half minutes, which ensures a high retention rate.

We believe that the future is virtual, so we will always do our best to transform every space into a digital twin using Matterport.

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