Lebanon joins UNESCO's iHeritage project

BEIRUT, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon joined on Monday the iHeritage project dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing access to UNESCO heritage sites in the Mediterranean, the National News Agency reported.

Photo taken on Oct. 12, 2017 shows the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

Supported by the European Union and incorporating six countries from the Mediterranean Sea basin - Italy, Egypt, Spain, Jordan, Portugal and Lebanon, iHERITAGE, an ICT Mediterranean Platform for UNESCO Cultural Heritage aims to promote cross-border technological transfer, Living Labs, industry-academia collaboration and the creation of spin-offs and new products, using Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).

Lebanon's share, out of a total budget for the project of 3.8 million euros (4.5 million U.S. dollars), amounts to about 600,000 euros, which will be disbursed in Lebanon by UNESCO in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Byblos Municipality and LAU.

AR, VR and MR applications will be implemented in the six aforementioned countries, starting with the effects of the pyramids in Cairo, to the antiquities of Petra in Jordan, Palermo in Sicily, Italy, several archaeological sites in Spain, ending with the city of Byblos in Lebanon.

Louis Cardahi Foundation at the Lebanese American University will oversee the project in Lebanon. Director of the foundation Rachid Chamoun said that the objective is to engage people in a set of activities that boost the cultural tourism sector and encourage investment in it.