Curator and museum specialist, Juliana Khalaf, visits MiM – the brand new mineral museum in the heart of Beirut.
Lebanon’s museum scene has a dazzling new addition: the MiM museum of minerals, which was inaugurated in October 2013.
This state of the art public institution houses the rare and unique private compendium of minerals accumulated by Lebanese collector Salim Edde and now on public display.
The entrance to the museum is located on the grounds of the Sports and Innovation campus of the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) in Ashrafieh, Beirut.
On the underground level the wonderful world of geology is revealed in all its glory. Visitors are encouraged to learn in more detail through interactive screens (information available in Arabic, English and French), about the differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguishing various species, how these properties in turn are influenced by the mineral’s geological environment of formation, including temperature, pressure and earthquakes, the cycle of the rocks and how they eventually evolve into minerals.
Equally interesting is the mention of the various ways and locations where these pieces were acquired. Edde, who was present at the opening ceremony of the museum, was delighted by the response he received from guests and media. “I have been collecting obsessively, through auctions, private collectors and museum collections for over 20 years, hoping that one day I would share my passion with the public, and today is the day my aspirations have been realized.”
The exhibit progresses into the main exhibition area, where the visitors are immersed into the beautiful manifestation of Mother Natures work at its best, represented by 1,480 organic art pieces.
The variety of minerals is divided into nine categories following the standard minerals classification system and then partitioned by continent and country of origin placing them in their geographical context.
As a grand finale the visitor can continue to the treasure room designed to enhance the appearance of the most precious minerals. They embody the finest examples of rough, uncut and unpolished gold and silver specimens, as well as precious stones like diamonds, topazes, emeralds, sapphires and tanzanite, and semi-precious examples of quartz, tourmalines and amethysts, just to mention a few.
MiM is the 2nd largest collection of minerals in the world, after the Sorbonne UPMC in Paris, where scientists, geology amateurs and jewelry aficionados, as well as school and university students and the general inquisitive public alike can unravel the wonders of the earth.
- Radioactive minerals containing uranium and thorium
- Museum boutique with souvenir replicas of the pieces on display
Good to Know
- Location: “Innovation and Sports Campus”, Saint Joseph University,Damascus Street, Achrafieh, BeirutTel: +961 1 421 672
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun : 10 am-1pm & 2 pm-6 pm.
- Entrance Fee: Adults: 10,000 LBP, Students and Children: Free.
- Prehistoric museum (USJ campus)
- Beirut National Museum. Tel: +961 1 426 903
- French Cultural Center
What to but
- At museum gift shop
- Souvenir stationary
- Mini replicas of the mineral collection
Where to eat
- Café des Lettres
Supplied by Mie Dorée at the French Cultural Center
Tel: (+961 76 330 013)
- Mum & I
Lebanese home cooking run by mother and daughter team
- Goutons Voir
French Cuisine with a great a setting place
- Younes Café (+961 1 424 515)
Fast food and coffee shop
- T-Square (+961 1 612 058)
All about desserts and patisserie
- L’Atelier Mathaf (+961 1 426 474)
French, Lebanese, Italian and Seafood
- The Social at smallville (+961 1 619 999)
Relaxing place with good gourmet comfort food
Article published on February 21, 2021.
Article edited on October 6, 2021.Loading