A closer look at the woodwork restoration

The port explosion of August 4th dislodged and fractured the wooden doors on the first floor – including those of the Salon arabe and Nicolas Sursock’s study – shattering the elaborate motifs and patterns within them. These doors, which are over a hundred years old, were part of the Nicolas Sursock’s original mansion.

The restoration of the woodwork is being undertaken by Maison Tarazi, an atelier established in 1862, and which specializes in the fabrication and restoration of woodwork, copper, and glass, following the tradition of Syrian, Lebanese, Ottoman, and Morroccan craftsmanship.

Using the small, broken wooden pieces that were collected at the Sursock Museum after the explosion, Maison Tarazi's craftsmen were able to redraw, and eventually recreate the motifs of the wooden doors and arches, first using timber wood. At a later stage, these patterns will be reproduced using kotrani wood (a kind of cedar wood) and reinstated into the original frames, which are made from the same kind of wood. The outcome is a patchwork of the mansion’s original kotrani wood, and the newly-formed kotrani wood motifs, which will replace the shattered ones.

This process takes a long time, and is the first step towards the rehabilitation of the woodwork on the first floor.