Lady Cochrane Sursock

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Yvonne, Lady Cochrane Sursock, is a philanthropist, a prominent public figure, and an advocate of the arts in Lebanon.


She was born the only daughter of Alfred-Bey Sursock, a Lebanese aristocrat and Donna Maria Theresa Serra di Cassano, the daughter of Francesco Serra, 7th Duke of Cassano. In 1946, she married Sir Desmond Cochrane, Bt.[1]


Lady Cochrane Sursock was president of the committee and general manager of the Nicolas Sursock Museum in Beirut from 1960 until 1966. She founded the Association for the Protection of the Natural Sites and Ancient Buildings (APSAD; Association pour la protection des sites et anciennes demeures) in Lebanon and was its president from 1960 until 2002.[1]

Her work today focuses on projects that seek to reduce Lebanese emigration and to support people in their villages of origin, by creating jobs for them in the fields of: agriculture, textiles, and handcrafts.[1]

Lady Cochrane is also involved in the protection of the natural environment in Lebanon and in the preservation of the country's unique architectural and cultural heritage.[1]

She is owner of the Sursock House, plus a broad swath of property along Rue Sursock, up to the trendy Rue Gouraud.[2]


Further reading[edit]

William Dalrymple (1997): From the Holy Mountain (interview with Lady Cochrane Sursock, p. 238-42)