Demolition work has begun at Beirut's Grande Brasserie du Levant with the iconic sign removed and interior walls and floors knocked down (Mohamed Azakir/The Daily Star)
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The demolition of the Middle East's oldest brewery began this week, launching the first phase of a high-end real estate development project led by famed architect Bernard Khoury. The project – scheduled to take at least three years – will see the disused brewery largely demolished to make room into the Mar Mikhael Village, a 99-apartment complex composed of studios, rooftop villas and commercial spaces. The first signs of the building's demolition – including the removal of the old sign that read "Grande Brasserie du Levant" – sparked a reaction from several civil society groups, which argued for the need to preserve the historical identity of the old brewery.The facade of a historical art deco building on Gemmayzeh's Gouraud Road, which had been teetering for weeks after the attached building was knocked down for development despite the Culture Ministry's decision to deny the owners a demolition permit, collapsed further Wednesday.Khoury has been accused by critics of revising the project at a late stage in order to remove the historical elements of the old building.
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