The cemetery of St Demetrios Church in Beirut is incredible. Some of the richest and oldest families from the city’s Greek Orthodox community are buried there, in white marble tombs topped off with ornate baroque sculptures. It’s like a shiny version of London’s Highgate Cemetery.
You can imagine that at one time the cemetery had a magnificent stillness about it. However, that’s been rather undermined, firstly by the massive Spinney’s Supermarket that’s been built next door, a monument to cut price groceries in steel and plastic facade. But secondly, and more catastrophically, by the events venue that’s currently being built on top of it.
Yes, on top.
Incredibly, the venue is being built by the Church itself, and nobody has raised any objections about it – or successful ones at least.