Alexandrians have taken to social media to voice their discontent over the demolition of the iconic El-Salam theatre in Sidi Gaber, which began on Monday.
A number of pages have surfaced on Facebook condemning the demolition and describing it as a blow to the city’s cultural scene.
The demolition was reportedly ordered to make way for a new luxury hotel.
“There is still some speculation about the demolition. I believe if they’re removing the theatre altogether then that would be a great loss, but if they plan on renovating it that would be a sound idea,” said Ehab Mabrouk, head of the Alexandria Theatre Troupe.
The theatre, which is located by the Mediterranean Sea, had been run-down and abandoned for several years, but Alexandria residents still mourn the loss of the building which they viewed as part of the city’s artistic heritage, with many claiming it as an antiquity.
Mabrouk said that it had not been in use for at least 20 years.
However, the building is not registered under the Ministry of Antiquities and is therefore under the auspices of the governorate of Alexandria.
Maged El-Raheb, antiquities expert and head of the association for the protection of Egyptian heritage, has said that the demolition site is of greater concern than the theatre debris because the area is rife with historic artefacts.
The theatre was built in the 1960s and has staged countless plays starring famed Egyptian actors like Adel Emam and Samir Ghanem.