Regarding the hippodrome, the leaked correspondence shows that the culture ministry agreed to “the reintegration of the whole southern section of the ruins into the structure intended to be built by keeping it in situ, and the dismantling and re-installation of the central course and northern sections.”

Layoun vociferously defended his decision when he spoke to Al-Akhbar.

“What we did is an important achievement. It corrects the mistake by Solidere, which deceived property owners by not informing them that there were archaeological finds before buying the property,” he said. [Link]

I am not surprised to read this one single bit. In fact, I am a bit happy that they will actually preserve the site by “integrating” it into an upmarket commercial development, because I don’t expect better from this government or any other one. When you hear about filling up an archaeological site with sewers in Beirut in order to build a monument on top, you should not be shocked to hear this.