Lebanese activists are resisting a government decision to allow construction of luxury homes over nearly 2,000-year-old ruins believed to be from a 1st Century Roman chariot racing hippodrome. The two structures towering over ancient Berytus were a testament to the lavish endowments of King Herod who is said to have favoured the city, investing extraordinary patronage to the jealousy of other towns.

In August, small bulldozers deployed to the area began dismantling a hippodrome wall but have since been halted following a complaint filed with the Beirut governor’s office from an activist group known as the Association to Protect Lebanese Heritage.

"We are committed to protecting the hippodrome and the theatre," said Raja Noujaim, a retired quality control expert who is leading the association’s legal battle. "This is a declaration of war." [Link]