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.