Initially, the site of the statues was in a garden area opposite Casino Piscine Aley, where some statues still reside today.
In that first year, there were 30 sculptors – 23 Lebanese, four Syrians, two Jordanians and one Egyptian, who gathered on the terraced hillside, cutting into huge blocks of stone.
Tons of stone and marble, ordered to the specifications of each sculptor, had to be purchased and transported to the site. Tents were erected to shade the laboring stone-cutters from the hot sun.
Such was the success of that first event, that it was repeated on a larger scale the following year – now moving to larger “premises” – the parklands of Ras Al Jabal, on the outskirts of the city center, overlooking the Chouf.
In year 2000, more than sixty artists were invited, from 25 countries (Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe, United States, etc.).
A cloud of thick white dust, accompanied by the din of engines and stone sanders, signalled the location to the throng of tourists who came to watch the artists in their open-air studio.
The event was a resounding success, attracting tourists and publicity from all over Lebanon and internationally.
The municipality bore part of the costs, but private sponsors largely took over, which allowed the city to realize this international event in Lebanon. Even the local Red Cross provided meals and refreshments for the artists, some of them working by spotlight, late into the night.