Petition to replace + sanction the current Minister of Culture
Petition to remove from his post, replace and sanction the current minister of Culture
You are kindly invited to sign the petition that seeks to replace
and sanction the current Minister of Culture Mr Gaby Layoun.
The current minister so far:
- Has Okayed the demolition of Dr Ibrahim Medawar building (known as Amine Maalouf’s childhood home) in badaro, ‘for not meeting the adequate historical, symbolic and architectural heritage criteria’, after previously forbidding its demolition 3 months earlier,
- Has Downplayed the robbery of the Jbeil archeological Museum by saying that the stolen artifacts are ‘of little value’.
(if so, why are they kept in a Museum ?)
- Has Declassified and illegally allowed the demolition of the Phoenician Slipways in Plot 1398 Minet el Hosn
(at the location of Venus Tower Buildings) .
- Is now seeking to destroy what remains of the Roman Hippodrome of Beirut - Wadi Abou Jmil, (Plots 1370 and 834 Minet el Hosn), under the illusory slogan of dismantling and reconstruction, (presumed reconstitution of not more than 20% of the real findings), for the false purpose of having a Museum inside private property buildings.
- Is seeking also to destroy under the same illusory slogan as above… what remains of the Roman Theater of Beirut - Wadi Abou Jmil,
(plots 1410 and 1375 Minet el Hosn) in favor of 2 different private projects.
- Has failed to protect the discoveries of District S - DT Beirut,
allowing the promoters to mow down the quasi totality of the Hellenistic archeology discovered there.
- Has stopped the archaeological excavations in the Landmark site, around Mid June 2013, with around 2/3rd of the site yet its excavation to be done or completed, leaving it in limbo.
- Has given the approval, for a sewage storage and pumping station within the Archaeological site of Jiyeh (Porphyreon), in plot 2146 Jiyeh.
- Has Permitted the partial deterioration (by opening a door) in the north wall of the historical city of Jbeil, as well as the use of the top part of its main North gate by one of his advisors, who opened a restaurant in this location.
- Has given the renovation of the Medieval Castle of Jbeil and the one of Smar-Jbeil in Batroun, to an architect / restorer, who happens to be one of the committee members, who decided (in one sentence), that the building of Dr Medawar “Amin Maalouf house” does not meet the adequate architectural heritage criteria. The architect is ‘supervising’ sub-standard restoration work, without proper studies and supervision by an archaeologist specialized in this Medieval period, negatively affecting the authenticity of both Castles.
And the minister is now covering him up in his wrong doing.
- Has not reacted in regards to the huge amount of 5 million US$ allocated to the Castle of “Chkif-Karnoun” in the South, with a very small part to the remaining archaeological excavations (handled by the DGA)
and the whole balance favor its renovation (handled by the CDR) ?
- Has given lately his approval for (arbitrary) archaeological excavations in Mina–Tripoli,
which resumed in the demolition of some Roman and Byzantine columns...
- Has not done anything for the maintenance, good preservation and protection of Mar Maroun cave in the Hermel,
which is left deserted, vandalized and its walls covered by graffiti and tags.
- Is not doing any weeding, cleaning and maintenance of public archeological sites like the Phoenician Tell, its wall (glacis), the “Small Serail” and the “garden of forgiveness” etc… which seriously endangers all the remains of these sites.
No explanatory panels are installed in, nor guards are positioned within those sites to protect them…
- Has permitted dismantled ruins to be stored within the promoter storages instead of the DGA official ones, which is in principle illegal,
especially that no bonds or bank guarantees are provided by the promoters favor account the DGA.
- Gave full coverage for archeological excavations in Beirut, to continue in complete violation of the Lebanese Law of Antiquities and the TOR. of the DGA for the almost exclusive benefit of owners and promoters; and from a total number of around 360 excavated archaeological sites, just 7 (for all of Beirut, including Solidere) were until now, preserved in situ (some of them only partially and some not even maintained).
And for all Beirut archaeological sites excavated since 2005, almost no official publication in (BAAL) up to date, as well as almost no more sites handled officially, as from 2005, by foreign missions or local universities (these groups bringing their own financing)...!?:
No Preservation + No Publication = No Public Interest & No Future...
- Is still dealing with Dr Hans Curvers who was Solidere archaeologist since the nineties
and known as “The Lebanese Heritage Demolition Man” (LHDM).
Dr.Curvers who is still in Lebanon today, didn’t officialy publish not even 10% of the 150 sites that he excavated in all of Solidere area
- Has nominated, a ministerial advisory committee, reporting directly to him, for all matters concerning Antiquities, instead of appointing experts in Archaeology in all fields and periods, and mainly from different Local Universities, constituting a committee directly connected to the DGA and subsequently to the minister, as did his predecessor Mr Wardy,
especially in view of the still actual vacancy of the post of Director of the DGA.
- Has appointed a contract employee (not a full-timer), who is close to him, as acting head (supervisor) of the DGA,
in spite of the previous refusal of the council of ministers to appoint him as director of the DGA.
- Has forbidden archaeologist Hisham Sayegh live on TV, to give his opinion and expose his side of the story and threatened to go off the air, if Sayegh (who previously submitted publically his resignation) was to be interviewed,
knowing that at the moment of the live on TV, Sayegh was no more employed by the DGA.
AS WELL AS MANY OTHER TRANSGRESSIONS THAT DO NOT FIT ON THIS PETITION...
For more of the same, use the following link to read the APLH report On the situation of Lebanese heritage – traditional Buildings as of 2013 (in Arabic), and while you're at it, download the APLH gazette.
We invite the Lebanese public, to think of their country, its cultural richness, its historical memory, being in the hands of the above mentioned person. We invite you to ask yourself: Do I trust this man with my 6000 years history? And what remain of it?
Do I trust this man with my homeland’s identity?
in the absence of democratic institutions, we urge you to sign this petition and let your voice be heard.
Thank you and long live Lebanon
The Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage is a Lebanese association registered under permit number 1764