Heartbreak in Cairo as Darb 1718 Art Center Gets Bulldozed with Valuable Art Inside

Valuable Art Inside. So, here’s the scoop – Darb 1718, this cool contemporary arts center in Cairo, got straight-up demolished on January 6. The folks behind it spilled the tea on Instagram, saying they were deeply bummed and kinda ticked off. No heads up, no compensation. The main building, a total Cairo gem, gone without a warning. And this isn’t just about a building – it’s about messing with Cairo’s history and kicking out communities like it’s no big deal.

Valuable Art Inside: Cairo’s Urban Overhaul Strikes Again

Authorities played it cool, saying they had to wreck the place to widen a highway. Cairo’s getting a makeover, thanks to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who’s all about upgrading the city and dropping a brand-new $59 billion capital in the desert. They’ve been building like crazy – over 4,000 miles of new roads, 900 tunnels, and bridges. But, guess what? Whole neighborhoods are getting wiped off the map in the process.

Darb 1718’s Sad Story in the Face of City Changes

Valuable Art Inside. The drama for Darb 1718 kicked off last August when they started demolishing buildings in the ancient Fustat area – home to some OG craftspeople. Moataz Nasreldin, the brains behind Darb 1718, spilled to the New York Times that the government told him they’re wrecking the place for a fancy elevated highway. Then in September, everyone got the boot, and the space order shut.

The center, doing its thing for 16 years, a cultural hotspot in the city. Art exhibitions, concerts, workshops – you name it. The place even got its name from the 1977 “bread riots” in Egypt, going down on January 17 and 18.

Artistic Mayhem and Some Unusual Shade

Fast forward to Nasreldin spilling the beans on a talk show with Egyptian TV host Lamis Elhadidy. He dropped the bomb that artworks by 150 foreign artists, worth millions, got wiped out. Bulldozers took out the exhibition hall and two workshops – a total creative massacre.

And get this – Elhadidy, usually all about backing the Egyptian government, threw some rare shade at Sisi’s crew. She straight-up said, “We hate our history and our old Cairo. We want a city that will be nothing but roads, asphalt, bridges.”

The destruction of Darb 1718 isn’t just an art center biting the dust; it’s a reminder of what happens when a city goes full makeover without caring about its roots. It’s like erasing a piece of Cairo’s soul for the sake of roads and bridges. Not cool.