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MIM Visitors' Book
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 06:03    Post subject: MIM Visitors' Book  

Last week I went back to the Beirut MIM museum, a year after my first visit.
I had heard that Salim Eddé had added some significant specimens to his amazingly rich collection. This was enough to convince me to take a 4hr plane ride from Paris to Beirut.

Just like last year, I was greeted by two very attentive and helpful ladies, Suzy Hakimian and Carole Atallah, the museum’s curators.
On my first visit, I thought a bit naively that Salim had already got the crème de la crème of almost all mineral species but it turned out I was wrong after seeing his latest trophies.
Salim is convinced there is always something better or more special out there which he can afford to add to his museum.
Useless to say that my biggest shock was when I discovered the new XXL size emerald crystal he added in the treasures room (see the miserable photo I attached).

I think it is time to start a new topic associated to the MIM Museum hoping that many visitors will enrich it with their comments, impressions and photographs.
So please feel free to add your posts to the MIM visitors’ book if you have the privilege to go and visit this very special place in the future.
The photographs which are regularly posted in the sister topic The MIM Museum in Beirut, Lebanon are remarkable and the comments left by the forum members are laudatory. But the specimens are really much better in person!

Incidentally I also enjoyed the extreme quietness of the museum during my tour as I was the … only visitor!
I know I should not complain about my visit conditions but this is very sad actually – the Lebanese people have probably other priorities than going to museums these days.
If you can’t make the trip to Beirut yourself, please spread the news!
But if you plan to go one day and need some tips on what else to do, what to see, where to stay, I will do my best to help (no, I don’t have any stake in a tourism agency!).

Gérard

PS: Apologies about the very poor quality of the photographs.



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_A special one for Tobi - There are actually 2 Neudorf galena specimens!
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_A small sample of the many, many fluorites on display.
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_Fluorite, Calcite, Pyrite. Peru
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_This Colombian emerald crystal must weight over 1,000 carats.
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_A typical old Lebanese-style house in central Beirut.
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Les Presmyk




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:02    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Thank you for the photos. This is definitely on my list of things to do.
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:08    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Les Presmyk wrote:
Thank you for the photos. This is definitely on my list of things to do.


You are welcome Les - definitely a good resolution!
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:10    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Thanks "Fiebre Verde", very nice initiative...

Les Presmyk wrote:
Thank you for the photos. This is definitely on my list of things to do.

I strongly recommend it. I went there and believe me I was very impressed (and I have visited many Museums! ;-)
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kushmeja




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:15    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Thank you for sharing your photos! Hopefully I'll make it out there someday soon... thinking of ways that I can convince my wife that we should go to Beirut for our honeymoon in a few months, but don't think I'll be able to pull that one off!
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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:27    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

kushmeja wrote:
Thank you for sharing your photos! Hopefully I'll make it out there someday soon... thinking of ways that I can convince my wife that we should go to Beirut for our honeymoon in a few months, but don't think I'll be able to pull that one off!

What some people I know did was go to some more or less touristic country in that hemisphere (Seychelles, Madagascar, Namibia...) and stop in Beirut for several hours to visit the Museum. Beirut has reasonably good connecting flights.
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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:49    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
kushmeja wrote:
Thank you for sharing your photos! Hopefully I'll make it out there someday soon... thinking of ways that I can convince my wife that we should go to Beirut for our honeymoon in a few months, but don't think I'll be able to pull that one off!

What some people that I know did was go to some more or less touristic country in that hemisphere (Seychelles, Madagascar, Namibia...) and stop in Beirut for several hours to visit the Museum. Beirut has reasonably good connecting flights.


Thanks for the tip Jordi! Thankfully my wife is adventurous as well, and she also enjoys minerals, but not to the obsessive level like most of us!

Seychelles looks beautiful, as do Madagascar and Namibia, so maybe, just maybe, I have a chance of convincing her!
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 09:57    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
A special one for Tobi - There are actually 2 Neudorf galena specimens! (Galena.JPG)

Thank you, Gérard!!! ... And well, of course two, why not?! Just one world-class Neudorf specimen would be so boring in a mineral collection ;-)
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 10:09    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
kushmeja wrote:
Thank you for sharing your photos! Hopefully I'll make it out there someday soon... thinking of ways that I can convince my wife that we should go to Beirut for our honeymoon in a few months, but don't think I'll be able to pull that one off!

What they did some people I know was go to some more or less touristic country in that hemisphere (Seychelles, Madagascar, Namibia...) and do some hours stop in Beirut to visit the Museum. Beirut has reasonably good connecting flights.


Exactly!
Direct flights are reasonably cheap and short from Europe and decisions are easier to take for those who are based in Europe.
As Jordi pointed out, Beirut has good connecting flights to the Middle-East, Asia and Africa. With a bit of careful itinerary planning, the extra cost involved in adding a stopover in Beirut should be reasonable.

Thank you Kushmeja.
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 10:15    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Tobi wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
A special one for Tobi - There are actually 2 Neudorf galena specimens! (Galena.JPG)
Thank you, Gérard!!! ... And well, of course two, why not?! Just one world-class Neudorf specimen would be so boring in a mineral collection ;-)


You're welcome Tobi!
Gives you 2 good reasons to go there :-)
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 11:18    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
Tobi wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
A special one for Tobi - There are actually 2 Neudorf galena specimens! (Galena.JPG)
Thank you, Gérard!!! ... And well, of course two, why not?! Just one world-class Neudorf specimen would be so boring in a mineral collection ;-)
You're welcome Tobi! Gives you 2 good reasons to go there :-)

Not necessarily, the museum of my hometown (4 km away from me) has 3 or 4 of them ;-)
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ploum




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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2015 15:00    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Hmm, that's very interesting for tested photo behind glass :) (my speciality ;) )
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PostPosted: Oct 02, 2015 00:48    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
...Incidentally I also enjoyed the extreme quietness of the museum during my tour as I was the … only visitor!
I know I should not complain about my visit conditions but this is very sad actually – the Lebanese people have probably other priorities than going to museums these days...

Hi Gérard, thank you for taking us with you on this trip. The photos are excellent and the specimens stunning. What a shame that such an outstanding museum sits amongst a people that do not appreciate it.

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 02, 2015 04:58    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
...Incidentally I also enjoyed the extreme quietness of the museum during my tour as I was the … only visitor!
I know I should not complain about my visit conditions but this is very sad actually – the Lebanese people have probably other priorities than going to museums these days...

Hi Gérard, thank you for taking us with you on this trip. The photos are excellent and the specimens stunning. What a shame that such an outstanding museum sits amongst a people that do not appreciate it.


My pleasure Pierre! Thanks for your comments.

Lebanon is a small country with a remarkable past.
It’s the land from where the Phoenicians exported their trading culture across the whole Mediterranean.
The remnants of this glorious past can be seen in the National Museum located 200m away from the MIM museum, in central Beirut.
Lebanese are not known for their museum culture, at least not in Lebanon. But this situation might shift in the future thanks to the younger generation’s openness and their inclination to all forms of local culture.

Gérard

PS: On a different note, I realized that I had significantly underestimated the weight of that emerald prism - it does indeed weigh "over 1,000 carats" as initially stated, but the real figure is actually closer to 1,400 carats.
The only largest gem-quality prism I am aware of is the one belonging to the 'Banco de la República de Colombia'. It used to be on display in the Gold Museum in Bogotá.
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MIM Museum




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PostPosted: Oct 05, 2015 03:14    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
Pierre Joubert wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
...Incidentally I also enjoyed the extreme quietness of the museum during my tour as I was the … only visitor!
I know I should not complain about my visit conditions but this is very sad actually – the Lebanese people have probably other priorities than going to museums these days...

Hi Gérard, thank you for taking us with you on this trip. The photos are excellent and the specimens stunning. What a shame that such an outstanding museum sits amongst a people that do not appreciate it.

Gérard

I wanted to thoroughly thank you for your laudatory account of the MIM museum. I hope we can meet next time you are there to share our passion for rocks!

Shnorhagal-em

Salim

PS: I understand that many people are daunted to come over, and I can perfectly relate to that, Lebanon being in a really doomed place of the world (yet we fare better than most of our neighbors!).
Let me quote my colleague Carole Atallah below:

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PostPosted: Oct 05, 2015 03:29    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Warning: visiting Lebanon is very dangerous, you could develop an addiction to this country!
Addicted to Lebanon? A country with security issues, we hear constantly on the news, about the assassinations, the kidnapping of soldiers, the ongoing war at the northern frontier with the Islamic State, and so on. How could someone even think of traveling to such a country?
That is one side of the story.
The other side of it is about the Lebanese population, their love to their country, their hospitality with foreigners. Their faith in a country where they invest, always looking for ideas to promote it. One example would be the International Festivals that took place in Byblos, Beiteddine, Baalbak, during summer 2014, hosting Yanni, the legendary Greek composer and performer, Epica, the Dutch symphonic metal band, Stromae, the Belgian born singer and songwriter, Joss Stone, the English soul singer-songwriter. And that is a short list of the performing artists at those festivals.
The other side of the story is also about the outings, pubs, bars, and night clubs. At Uruguay Street, a pedestrian street of Downtown Beirut, different generations, from different religious communities, hang out for a drink, while listening to local bands and DJ’s. As for the Sky Bar, White and B018, they host International DJ’s. And yes, you will see people dancing on the tables at those night clubs.
The story is about the good food, the Lebanese mezze, where you can have 20 (and even more) different dishes to share, each one better than the other, a gourmet delight! And never forget to keep some space for the dessert!
The story of Lebanon is also about the ecological trails that different NGO’s have started to implement. It is about the historical buildings, the archaeological sites, and the long history of a country that have traveled through time, and civilizations.
It is the story of contradictions, the story of extremes.
Yes, you are right; you can find all of the above in other countries, safer than Lebanon. Why take the risk and go there? Because it is all about feeling alive, experiencing Lebanon, and getting addicted to it!
At MIM, we have nicknamed one of Salim’s stones (a Baryte) the Blue Cedar. Blue being the color of hope, Cedar, Cedrus Libani, the emblem of Lebanon!

Carole Atallah

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 05, 2015 05:02    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

MIM Museum wrote:
Gérard

I wanted to thouroughly thank you for your laudatory account of the MIM museum. I hope we can meet next time you are there to share our passion for rocks!

Shnorhagal-em

Salim

PS: I understand that many people are daunted to come over, and I can perfectly relate to that, Lebanon being in a really doomed place of the world (yet we fare better than most of our neighbors!).
Let me quote my colleague Carole Atallah below:


Sh'norhavorank Salim - The MIM museum is such a special place that this was the least I could do!
I can only second Carole's testimonial - my time was too short and I have barely scratched the surface of the many things a visitor can do and enjoy in this country.
Gérard
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PostPosted: Oct 05, 2015 05:59    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

I went to Lebanon some years ago and had a fantastic time. The museum was not open at that time, so I missed it. But the food was wonderful, the people very kind and very helpful. So it was a great trip. So, like Carole says, you could get addicted. I spent time in Beirut (working) then did a day visit to Baalbek, which was wonderful too.
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2016 04:05    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

On April 8, 2016, the MIM Museum was overcrowded with visitors. The queue at the entrance started to form at 5:00 PM and lasted till 11:00 PM.
In 6 hours’ time, we received 9000 visitors. Yes, it is a huge number for a country as small as Lebanon (10452 Km2)!
For the 3rd year in a row, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture organized an event “A night at the Museums”. 11 museums were participating to that event. The number of visitors is increasing over the years: 2000 in 2014, 4000 in 2015 and 9000 in 2016.
The MIM Museum has launched on that occasion a temporary exhibition “Fish’N’Stone” displaying a collection of fish fossils that belongs to the Abi Saad family ( http://www.memoryoftime.com/home ) found in 3 main Lebanese fossil fields. This exhibition invites people (as the rest of the museum) to an educational and pleasant experience: fossils are animated to tell their story!



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Peter




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PostPosted: Aug 06, 2016 04:27    Post subject: Re: MIM Visitors' Book  

Two FANTASTIC Neudorf galena specimens, not just any ;)
One of them would be enough for my collection, to start with :)

There could be 20-30 of them in some old collection, I guess Freiberg would have that in the drawers but I can not say that I have seen any better anywhere else really.
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