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Alfred Basbous
(1924 - 2006)

Born in Rachana in1924, three years following the birth of his brother Michael, Alfred Basbous spent a peripatetic childhood: In a family that has constantly to move, according to the mission of the father, who was a parish priest. The Basbous family regularly returned to Rachana, their home village, their indelible mark.

As a child, Alfred Basbous was impressed by the feather reed used by his father to illustrate the Bible. Later, Michael proposed to his teenage brother to help him polishing the stone sculptures and working on the hardest stone blocks. This was the first step towards sculpturing.

Alfred Basbous did not last long in the company of British Railways where he worked as a mason. By the late 1950s, he began carving works in wood, metal and stone, he first started up reproducing animals - poultry, rabbits, reptiles - and nude females. Encouraged by Michel, Alfred exhibited in Beirut, at Alecco Saab gallery in 1958; this exhibition has shown a success and introduced him into the world of sculpture.

In 1960, he received a scholarship from the French government and became a pupil of the sculptor René Collamarini at "The National Fine Arts School in Paris" (L'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris). In 1961, his works included the International Sculpture Exhibition at the Musée Rodin, in Paris.

Upon returning home, Alfred Basbous noticed his career exploding. He chose to settle in the village of Rachana that his brother was planning to rehabilitate. If one draws its inspiration from the modernism of Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Jean Arp, Alfred became impregnated with the nature of Lebanon and was passionate in the forms of the human body, especially the feminine curves.

The following years, he acquired an international reputation, and collaborated in international exhibitions:

1961    -    Superior National School Of Fine Arts, Paris.
1961    -    Rodin Museum, Paris.
1971    -    Halles Gallery, Paris. The three brothers displayed 101 sculptures.
     -    Open air exhibitions in Faubourg of Saint Honoré, Paris.
1974    -    Collamarini workshop at Rodin Museum in Paris.
   -    Biennial of Alexandria, Egypt.
   -    UENO Museum, royal museum in the city of Tokyo, Japan.
1982    -    "Decoline" Gallery, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
1988    -    Kuwait Hilton International Hotel, Kuwait.
     -    "Platform International" Gallery, Washington, United States.
1993    -    "Shroder & Asseili" Gardens, London, England.
1994    -    The "Ashmoleum" museum in Oxford-England appropriated a sculpture of Alfred which is on permanent display.
1998    -    Abu Dhabi Cultural Center, Emirates
   -    Dubai Cultural Center, Emirates
   -    Oman Gallery, Oman.
Throughout his life, Alfred won many awards including the "Prix de l'Orient" in Beirut in 1963 and the price of Biennale in Alexandria in 1974.

In 1977, he got married to Marie Abi Saab with whom he has two children, Fadi and Zeina.

Several galleries in his native country organized solo exhibitions of his works, which include:

"Salle du Quotidien l'Orient" (1962), Gallery One (1963), Excelsior Hotel (1965), Phoenicia Gallery (1966), Amateur Gallery (1967), gardens of the Modern institute in Fanar (1967), Excelsior Hotel (1970), Contact Gallery (1972), Damo Gallery (1979), Gallery One (1982), gardens of Halate Sur Mer (1984), ELCIR Gallery (1984), Rimal La Toile Gallery (1985), SNA Tabaris (1996), Surface Libre Gallery (2005).

The monumental works of Alfred Basbous are present in the public areas of Beirut and many Lebanese cities, acquired by municipalities and private projects, such as the Municipality of Zahle, the Municipality of Rayfoun, the Port of Beirut, Jdeit el Metn, Tabarja Beach, "House of the Future", the Municipality of Antelias, the Municipality of Zouk Mkayel, gardens of Halate Sur Mer, the Municipality of Tannourine.

When his brother Michel passed away in 1981, Alfred Basbous collaborated with his younger brother Youssef to promote Rachana and cultivate the family heritage.

From 1994 to 2004, Alfred organized the International Symposium of Sculpture in Rachana, where famous sculptors from around the world were invited to create, sculpt and exhibit their works with those of Basbous, at the sight of tourists and art lovers.

In 1994 he was awarded the "Medal of the National Order of Cedar, order of Knight" by the President of the Lebanese Republic.

In 1998, he founded and chaired the "International Sculpture Park of Rachana" which included 72 sculptures by artists who participated in the Symposium of Rachana.

In 2004, the President of the Lebanese Republic decorated him with the "National Medal of the Order of the Cedar, Officer Order (ضابط)".

When he died in 2006, the President of the Lebanese Republic, in order to honor him, awarded him the "Medal of the Lebanese Order of Merit in Gold."

The works of Alfred Basbous are part of the permanent family exhibition in Rachana, Lebanon, like those of Michael and Joseph Basbous.
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