How Art and Banking Converge to Celebrate Lebanon’s Monetary History

In the heart of Beirut, where time whispers tales of ancient trade and modern finance, two worlds collided in a symphony of creativity and history. On one side stood Latifa Art, a vibrant oasis of art led by the visionary Latifa el Hachem, and on the other, the Banque du Liban Museum, a treasure trove of Lebanon’s monetary past, echoing with the clink of forgotten coins and the rustle of antique banknotes.

It was 2013, and the occasion was momentous. The museum, the first of its kind in Lebanon, opened its doors to the public, eager to share its captivating narrative.

To make history palatable and weave its magic into everyday lives, Latifa Art stepped forward, brush poised and heart brimming with inspiration.

Latifa envisioned a bridge between the museum’s grandeur and the intimacy of daily life. Her canvas? Not a canvas at all, but something unexpected and delightful – coasters and bookmarks crafted from the cool touch of pewter.

Engraved coasters with the logo of BDL Museum

Each set of six coasters became a miniature museum exhibit, its surface etched with intricate patterns inspired by the Banque du Liban’s logo and pattern.

But Latifa’s art wasn’t mere mimicry. It was a dialogue with history. The BDL logo, interwoven with her signature motifs, became a symbol of collaboration, a fusion of artistic expression and institutional trust. Each coaster, cradled in the palm of a museum visitor, transformed into a conversation starter, an invitation to delve deeper into the stories etched in its surface.

Engraved coasters with the pattern of BDL Museum

The bookmarks, too, played their part. Embellished with the same evocative patterns, they became silent guardians of knowledge, marking pages in history books and personal narratives. They were a subtle reminder that the museum’s treasures were unbound into its walls; they are taken, preserved, and shared in the quiet corners of everyday life.

The collaboration between Latifa Art and the Banque du Liban Museum transcended the boundaries of commerce and aesthetics. It was a marriage of purpose, a shared desire to make history accessible, to weave its threads into the very fabric of society.

Engraved bookmarks with BDL Museum logo & pattern

With its delicate touch and profound storytelling, Latifa’s Art breathed life into the museum’s exhibits, transforming them from static displays into tangible experiences.

Today, as visitors trace the patterns on a Latifa el Hachem coaster or slip a bookmark into a treasured book, they embark on a journey through time. They feel the weight of empires rise and fall, the echo of trade routes, the quiet hum of financial stability. In these small, exquisite objects, they find a connection to their heritage, a reminder that history is not a dusty relic but a living, breathing part of who they are.

Engraved bookmarks with BDL Musuem logo & pattern

In the end, it’s not just about coasters and bookmarks. It’s about bridging the gap between art and history, institutions and individuals, between the whispered echoes of the past and the vibrant hum of the present. It’s about telling stories, sparking curiosity, and reminding us that our lives are chapters in a grand and ever-unfolding narrative.