Inaugurated in 2013, the mim museum in Beirut, Lebanon, conserves one of the world’s largest private mineral collections. Interview with Suzy Hakimiam, museum curator:
Tell us a bit about the mim museum!
At the mim (Musée des Minéraux), visitors can admire some 2,000 incredible mineral specimens in the Salim Eddé collection, one of the world’s most varied (450 different species from 70 countries worldwide). These natural masterpieces are formed without any human intervention and are immensely valuable, forged by pressure, temperature, water and above all time. The museum presents a selection of precious and semi-precious stones (diamonds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, etc.) used in jewellery, as well as ores used in high-tech industries for their physical and chemical properties.
Since 2016, the museum has added a section dedicated to Lebanese palaeontology that contains the country’s most spectacular marine and land fossils. Highlights include the fossils of a giant shark, a coelacanth, and the most complete Mimidactylus libanensis pterodactyl fossil in the Middle East.
Mim is easy to pronounce in all languages. The museum takes its name from the 24th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of the letter “M” in the Latin alphabet). It is also the first letter of the Arabic words for “museum”, “minerals “and “mines”. The same is also true in English and French.
What digital communication tools does the museum use?
In order to provide ever-greater interactivity and educational information for its visitors, the mim places great emphasis on digital communication tools in three languages (Arabic, French, English) and notably uses visual animations and touch screens. Visitors can download additional information and photos directly onto a smartphone or tablet from our website mim.museum, either before or after their visit.
The museum website is currently available in two languages (French and English) and is a key means of conveying our practical information, publicising our giftshop and cafeteria, and raising the museum’s profile. It is also central to our activities strategy and to the growth of our community of fans and followers on social networks.
What made you choose a .museum extension?
A .museum extension is a sign of a museum that is an integral part of the world of museums as reflected in the ICOM slogan: Museums have no borders, they have a network.
Visit the museum website on www.mim.museum