the APLH Brings the Case of the Beirut Roman Hippodrome to Court

the APLH’s most recent activity in April 2012 was a court overturning of a decision by none other than the Ministry of Culture, a move no NGO tried before. Some call it temerity, we call it civic duty and taking matters in our own hands.

The Hippodrome case, highlighted by an APLH manifestation in march 24, 2012,

is about a decision form the ministry of culture to grant permission to build a private

residential complex on the premices of parcel 1370, where an important part of the hippodrome is located.


Being a public site and an archeological find of utmost importance (in a basic comparison, the hippodrome of Beirut still contains the ‘spina’, while the Circus Maximus in Rome, doesnt have a spina anymore, yet it’s still preserved by the Italian government. Here in Lebanon, having more elements essential to a Roman period hippodrome, apparently doesnt encourage the Lebanese government to preserve such an archeological gem.

The spina is the middle structure in the middle of a hippodrome, around which the horses or chariots rotate to complete a race lap.



the APLH’s legal move aims to keep archeological sites like the hippodrome, open to the public, protected from private projects, restored and integrated in a fitting urban setting

that suits their importance (adequate greenery, public parks).



About APLH

The association for the protection of the Lebanese heritage, is an initiative launched by young Lebanese artists/intellectuals back in march 2010 on Facebook under the name ‘stop destroying your heritage!’. The group is still in existence and was opened for activism against the destruction of old Lebanese buildings by senseless Development. Founding members: Pascale Ingea Josef Haddad Jad Mhanna Official Status: The Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage was registered on the 14th of july 2010 at the ministry of interior and has been officially announced in the official journal on the 28th of October 2010 (issue 50). The association’s permit number is 1764. Members: Members of the executive committee for the year 2011: Pascale Ingea- President Georges El Khoury- Vice President Mireille Haddad- Accounting Josef Haddad- Secretary Janine Ingea- Treasurer Jad Mhanna- Legal Advisor and Board Member
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