Beirut explosion: Russell Crowe donates to Le Chef restaurant

People stand outside the shuttered Le Chef restaurant on 13 August 2020 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Le Chef has been in Beirut for decades

Actor Russell Crowe has donated to a fundraiser to help rebuild an iconic restaurant damaged in Beirut’s devastating explosion.

Le Chef was left “in shambles” by the blast, according to its GoFundMe page.

On Thursday, an organiser said they had received “a very generous donation” from someone named Russell Crowe.

The Oscar-winning actor confirmed he made the donation in memory of late chef Anthony Bourdain, who featured Le Chef in one of his documentaries.

“I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around,” Crowe said in a message posted on Twitter.

“I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon.”

Le Chef is located in Gemmayze, the residential district closest to the site of the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August, which killed more than 200 people and injured thousands more.

The blast was caused by more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the city’s port.

More on the explosion in Beirut

The fundraiser for the restaurant, “and its beloved frontman” Charbel Bassil, was started by filmmaker Amanda Bailly and journalist Richard Hall.

It originally aimed to raise $13,000 (£9,860), but reached its target – including $5,000 (£3,830) from Crowe – within a day.

However, the organisers say they will continue to accept donations to support the restaurant’s staff until the establishment is able to reopen.

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Media captionStarting with the epicentre, we follow how the blast ripped through the city, bringing life to a halt

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who died in 2018, visited Beirut twice, and ate at Le Chef both times.

“Le Chef is a legendary spot in Beirut, famed for its simple, straightforward, home-style classics,” he said during his 2010 documentary No Reservations. “Everybody comes here.”