In Aramaic, Rachana means « Me, the Head ». Bordered by the sea to the West, the famous castle of Smar Jbeil to the East and the Madfoun River to the South. The village of Rachana dominates all the other hills, like a lighthouse. Follow the coastal road until reaching Madfoun bridge, turn right, stay straight allowing the olive trees to welcome you… You will reach Rachana in few minutes.
Rachana, a high mythical place… A half century ago, a triad of artists regained its prestige. The brothers Basbous: Michel, Alfred and Joseph.
This magical village is today a contemporary reality; the magic wand is the scissors used by the three Basbous brothers in sculpture: Michel, Alfred and Youssef. Enter the fantastic village, you can find sculptures everywhere, on the road, in front of the houses, in the gardens, and squares. At the beginning, you think you are seeing stones, but little by little, they may seem moving, dancing, crying and talking to you all at the same time.
You reach a house, a sort of a house-sculpture as part of Michel Basbous project. He planned to build houses in Rachana with sculpture shapes, a type of village for the artists from the entire world, where they can live, celebrate the life and create. Michel dreamed of this model village that brings artists together: writers, painters, sculptors….
His death in 1981, however, did not take away the dream. His brother Alfred has perpetuated this dream by announcing that Rachana will welcome sculptors from now on from all over the world for fifteen days every year. They are invited to create artworks that will find their place among many sculptures made by Michel, Alfred and Youssef.
Those three sculptors have managed to rub the challenge by transforming an ordinary village into an extra ordinary one, attracting people from all over the world to appreciate the art and try to live it.
The artworks of the Basbous are displayed in many museums worldwide.
In brief, the three brothers have touched the West before even the East. A unanimous press has reserved a critical acclaim that so far no other artist in the Arab world has had the right. Three navigators have succeeded in materializing their dream by making Rachana a village of Fine Arts by excellence.
- Alfred Basbous museum and exhibition: (06/720 903)
The exhibition is kept by the wife of Alfred, Marie Basbous. Unfortunatly, none of his children inherited his talents.
- Michel Basbous’ workshop and exhibition: ( 06/720 310)
Anachar Basbous is a sculptor like his father Michel. You can still visit the gardens of the house, the workshop and the museum, but not the artist’s old house itself anymore.
- Youssef Basbous’ workshop and exhibition: (06/ 721 165)
Samir and Nabil Basbous are also sculptors, like their father Youssef. You can always visit their workshops.
Samir Basbous(03/899 165-06/721 165), Nabil Basbous(03/305 123)
- The Open-Air Museum
In 1994, the brothers Alfred and Youssef hosted the International Sculptors’ Atelier in Rachana, which left the village rich in the work of a number of international sculptors. The event used to take place during the month of August of each year, and new sculptures were added every year alongside those of the Basbous family. This active sculpture project earned Rachana the name “global village of sculpture housed in the open air” from UNESCO. Since 2005, however, the exhibition is no longer taking place.