Picture taken from TheBeirutReport
The residence of the author of The Rock of Tanios and the first Lebanese to become a member of the presitigious “l’Academie Francaise” will probably be demolished in the next few days. The Maalouf family had moved into the building, located in the Badaro area, around 1961 and occupied the second floor apartment. Amin Maalouf spent his formative years in the home from the age of 12 to 22. [Source]
Amin Maalouf’s 91-year-old mother was the last of the family to reside in the home. She packed everything up late last year after losing a number of legal battles to the owners and developers. From what I’ve read and heard, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture didn’t do much to help the Maalouf family keep their residence.
According to the Beirut Report, Kettaneh group, the construction firm behind this new tower, had proposed a sort of monument for Amine Maalouf to be incorporated into the tower’s new structure, but it was rejected by the family representative who argued that “the Maalouf home, an ornate 100 year-old garden mansion that gave birth to the career of one of Lebanon’s greatest writers, should be preserved”.
I have nothing against building new skyscrapers and modern buildings, but it doesn’t mean one has to demolish landmarks and destroy Beirut’s past to do so. I cannot really blame the construction firms looking for new investments, but the concerned ministry and Lebanese authorities for not making any effort to preserve that house and other monuments.
Kindly note those corrections to the above:
1- Mrs. Maalouf is 80 (not 91) years old as per her civil register,
2- The Maalouf Residence is a one floor apartment in a 3 floors building and not a mansion,
3- This apartment hasnt been in use in the last few years,
4- The building is 61 years old, not 100,
5- No legal actions have been underway by the Maalouf and bldg owners last year
Thank you Danielle.
What do you ‘occupied’, liek they were squatters or did they actually own/rent the place?
On the other hand, its a shame really that they would demolish this, its a nice structure and has real potential of turning it into a nice museum for the author’s memory …
Are you sure Mrs Maalouf is 80, Danielle?
Amin Maalouf is 64…
Fouad, the Official Lebanese Civil Register reveals that Mrs. Maalouf is born in 1932, while Mr. Maalouf is born in 1949.
Sad but true,lebanese authorities are the last ones who care about historical houses…tbertol ahamm,jyeboun aham.
Why is it historical? It’s not a particularly pretty building and has a tenuous link to a writer who hasn’t lived in one floor of it since a couple of generations ago.
“Gave birth to the career of one of Lebanon’s greatest writers…” Easy on the hyperbole, there.
A monument in the new building is a very generous offer and should have been accepted.
According to MTV News, Nassif Qaloush ordered to stop the demolition of Maalouf’s residence.