In Egypt, a cultural center was demolished to build a road, destroying more than 150 paintings
The Darb 1718 Center for Contemporary Art in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, stated that the authorities demolished its building without any warning or compensation.
Darb 1718 reported this on its Instagram: "Excavators are still working on the Darb 1718 site without any official notification, decision, or compensation. We are concerned that this neighborhood may inadvertently damage our space and decide its fate," the cultural center said in a post.
Darb 1718 founder Moataz Naserddin mentioned that the demolition of the building right after the New Year's holidays caught him by surprise. He added that construction equipment destroyed works by 150 foreign artists worth millions.
Architect Ayman Badr shared that he felt "a mixture of disappointment, anger, and deep sadness" at the demolition of Darb 1718.
"This act of destruction not only erases a vital cultural space but also threatens the very heart of artistic expression in our city. Darb 1718 was more than just a building. It was a haven for artists of all kinds. Within its walls reigned creativity, dialogue, and community," the institution's team wrote.
According to the authorities, the building was demolished to widen the highway. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who came to power in 2013, promised to build and develop Cairo, home to about 20 million people.