Our lovely minister of culture just doesn’t let up. A few days after he authorized the destruction of a one-of-a-kind Phoenician Port in Downtown Beirut, he’s at it again.
This time, he’s defying a law by the Shawra Council, whose jurisdiction supersedes that of the minister, which doesn’t allow any works to be done inside the estate of the Roman Hippodrome, which I spoke about back in March.
MTV has gotten exclusive footage from inside the hippodrome, which is sealed off for the public, in the Wadi Bou Jmil area showing the dismantling process in full swing. It’s still in its early stages by the looks of it but this is downright unacceptable. And if a law can’t keep the real estate mafia from eating away at whatever heritage Beirut has, you can’t but ask: what will?
This is our history. This is something that makes Lebanon unique in a way since not all countries have hippodromes stranded on their land. This is something that we should be proud to have. This is something that we should turn into a public venue.
But no. The minister has other plans. The best use for the hippodrome would be the parking lot of a high-rise. And you know what the sad part is? Some people will ask: what’s the point behind a hippodrome? Should all of the ancient monuments in Beirut be kept?
And the sadder part is that the beyond evident and deafening “YES” to second question is not as evident and common as I had originally thought.
Minister Layoun should resign because the only ministry he’s being in charge of is the ministry of un-culture. Let’s help strip whatever identity Beirut has and cash in a few millions in our bank accounts. Those will surely come in useful when he stops being minister and he leaves to some other country with his family.
I’d say I’m disgusted. But at this point, in this country, I’m simply amused. Destroy away. Destroy away. If your brain can’t tell you that you’re doing something wrong, how will anyone convince you?
Just a question though. How do these people reach power? Also, don’t you just love change and reform?