August 10, 2020, 11.56 PM

Several heritage buildings, traditional Lebanese homes, museums and art galleries have also sustained various degrees of damage.

The Sursock palace, built in 1860 in the heart of historical Beirut on a hill overlooking the now-obliterated port, is home to beautiful works of arts, Ottoman-era furniture, marble and paintings from Italy — collected by three long-lasting generations of the Sursock family.

The Greek Orthodox family, originally from the Byzantine capital, Constantinople — now Istanbul — settled in Beirut in 1714.

The three-story mansion has been a landmark in Beirut.

With its spacious garden, it's been the venue for countless weddings, cocktail parties and receptions over the years, and has been admired by tourists who visit the nearby Sursock museum.

The house in Beirut’s Christian quarter of Achrafieh is listed as a cultural heritage site, but Sursock said only the army has come to assess the damage in the neighborhood.

So far, he’s had no luck reaching the culture ministry.

Read also: World Bank Offers Recovery Assistance Following Beirut Explosion

The palace is so damaged that it will require a long, expensive and delicate restoration, “as if rebuilding the house from scratch”, Sursock says.

Sursock has moved to a nearby pavilion in the palace gardens, but this has been his home for many years alongside his American wife, his 18-year-old daughter and his mother, Yvonne.

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