Beit Gazo

Centre de recherche et de conservation du Patrimoine des Eglises d'Orient


A heritage mission carried out by the French association l’Œuvre d’Orient and by the National French Library in Lebanon in 2016 showed how rich the manuscript and archive collections of the Eastern Churches are, and how important they are to the people concerned as the ultimate witnesses to the history, spirituality and, ultimately, the very existence of Eastern Christian communities. This essential character justifies and legitimizes the intervention of patrons and donors to preserve this heritage.

The meetings with the different interlocutors (Syriac Catholics and Syriac Orthodox, Maronites, Melkites, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Catholics and Orthodox, Chaldeans, Latins catholics) have brought to light a common need in the field of heritage conservation. This need concerns both libraries and archives. Several communities already have restoration workshops. What is lacking is a qualified workforce for the mission that requires the greatest expertise, and the existence of a training program that offers an ethical approach to the discipline at the international level. That is to say, the least interventionist approach possible, with conservation-prevention and respect for the historicity of the works of art being the primary focus.

Mme Caroline Gelot Père Youssef Dergham
  • Paper and book conservator
  • Graduated from the French national heritage institute, Paris.
  • “French State Museums” habilitation
  • Caroline Gelot’s website
  • Responsible for the manuscript collection of the monastery of Charfet,
  • Professor at the Department of Sacred Arts at the University of Kaslik,
  • Trained in conservation-restoration by the CCL (Centre de conservation du livre d’Arles).
Mr Charles Personnaz
  • Responsible for Culture and Heritage at the association L’Œuvre d’Orient,
  • General director of the French National Heritage Institute, Paris,
  • Coordinator of the project.


The Center’s purpose is to preserve and train in the preservation of the heritage of the Eastern Churches. It is not a profit-making organization. Its objective is to make accessible high quality services at affordable prices, allowing all the Eastern Churches to preserve and restore their heritage, as well as to train their personnel.

The center offers the following services:

  • Conservation and restoration of written heritage (paper graphic arts, archives and books),
  • Advice in preventive conservation,
  • Emergency interventions,
  • Digitization,
  • Training courses,
  • Reception of researchers,
  • Constitution of a reference library on oriental written heritage and on conservation-restoration,
  • Creation and development of a network of project partners,
  • Publications and communications around the project.
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