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BEIRUT PORT EXPLOSION

Activist group launches petition to protest government plans to tear down Beirut port silos

Activist group launches petition to protest government plans to tear down Beirut port silos

The silos were badly damaged in the 2020 Beirut port explosion. (Credit: Dia Mrad)

BEIRUT — The Beirut Urban Declaration initiative started a petition Sunday calling on the government not to proceed with a plan to demolish the Beirut port silos. The petition notes that "the fate of the silos lies within the public interest,” adding, “We demand that it be considered a vital space and a public right of the city.”

Here’s what we know:

The Beirut Urban Declaration initiative argued in the petition form that the silos, which were badly damaged on Aug. 4, 2020 when a large quantity of ammonium nitrate carelessly stored at the port exploded, are “part of the collective memory of the city of Beirut and a witness to the crime of the century.”

The initiative called on the government to restore the existing silos, which, the petition states, is technically possible according to a study by a French engineer and silo expert, Emmanuel Durant.

Last month, Economy Minister Amin Salam announced the government's intention to tear down the silos and construct new ones, based on a study conducted by design consultancy firm Khatib & Alami.


BEIRUT — The Beirut Urban Declaration initiative started a petition Sunday calling on the government not to proceed with a plan to demolish the Beirut port silos. The petition notes that "the fate of the silos lies within the public interest,” adding, “We demand that it be considered a vital space and a public right of the city.”Here’s what we know:The Beirut Urban Declaration...