Kabul Municipality, implementing an order by the first president, on Monday evening destroyed the Park Cinema in downtown Kabul despite opposition by artists and activists to stop the destruction of the decades-old building.
Afghan Film chairperson Sahara Karimi who held a sit-in protest near the building said she was “forcibly” taken out by police and the cinema was destroyed.
Activists said the destruction of historical and cultural places harms the culture of the country.
The cinema hall was built in 1950s. It was a famous place for families during King Zahir Shah’s reign and later in 1980s.
The Afghan film chairperson was seen crying outside the building on Monday evening.
“The Park Cinema is part of Kabul’s identity,” Karimi said.
The acting minister of information and culture, Tahir Zuhair, also opposed the destruction of the three-story building in Shahr-e-Naw area in Kabul, but it was not accepted.
Social media users used a hashtag of “don’t destroy Park Cinema” and said it has a similar value to Kabul like the Buddha Sculptures had for Bamiyan.
Veteran singer Farhad Darya wrote an open letter to First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and asked him to review his decision.
“We are so upset. It was our house. Our house was destroyed,” Nawid Tanha, an artist.