I went to this museum before I had seen Beiteddine and I wish I had done it the other way around. Some of the ideas for the interior decoration have been copied from Beiteddine. The grounds are lovely and I wondered how the building survived the civil war. On first entering the building I was overwhelmed by the incredibly ornate walls and ceilings and the general interior design. Each individual panel was beautiful, but put all together was way over the top and overshadowed the exhibits. I went at the end of September and it was so hot inside that we cut our visit short. The exhibits are displayed in various rooms and the highlight is the jewellery, including the second largest diamond in the world. Because of the heat it was impossible to admire each piece and artifact. We were given a plain sheet of paper with just a cursory description of what was in each room. A much better idea would have been an illustrated catalogue that you take with you while you are looking at the exhibits and return before you leave. Like you do in art galleries. I went with a Beiruti friend who had never heard of this museum and we both had mixed emotions about how we felt about it.
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