Two years after British artist Tom Young held his site-specific painting exhibition, ‘At The Rose House’, the building is today in a lamentable state. At the date of the exhibition, the Rose House was already in a shape that needed urgent repairs. Today the pictures, more than words, depict the gravity of the situation.
Although privately owned by Mr Hisham Jaroudi, the house is left unguarded and anyone can enter its premises. As the pictures show, many fixtures are missing and were probably stolen. Large cracks in the walls have either appeared or got worse.
While it was structurally possible to live at the Rose House (as demonstrated by Fayza El Khazen who lived in the house until October 2014 whilst Tom Young made his paintings during a sejour of 6 months inside the Rose House), the current state of the building clearly is a dissuasion factor.
Walking inside the Rose House today, let alone spending a few days there, is technically dangerous. As windows and shutters are left open and broken, the house is being vandalized and gradually deteriorated by the elements.
It’s not hard to imagine seeing a building of national importance left in such a state; the Lebanese government is not exactly in an economic surplus situation, but we cannot understand how can somebody who apparently cares about the property is leaving it to crumble.
The APLH calls on the owner to remember the promise he made on TV, to restore the Rose House, and be an example of civic and cultural responsibility by protecting and preserving this beautiful symbol of old Beirut.