- The heritage protection authority said the building “is not registered as heritage”
By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The 90-year-old Lombardia Restaurant, one of the historical edifices in Addis Ababa, situated near the Wabi Shebele Hotel, in Lideta Sub-City, Woreda 9, was demolished though legally protected to be maintained as a heritage.
After fulfilling the requirements of being a heritage, Lombardia Restaurant was registered on February 15, 2023. The Federal Court of First Instance ruled the decision to the Addis Ababa City Administration Culture, Arts and Tourism Bureau, the Federal Housing Corporation and other institutions that delisting the building was illegal, the Weekly Amharic Reporter said here today.
However, the Lombardia Restaurant, which was reportedly built in 1934 near the Wabe Shebelle Hotel, which was then under construction, was demolished for the mere reason of clearing “the spot for development”. The Reporter said that the heritage protection officials shrugged off responsibilities saying that “the building is not a heritage”.
The Reporter recalled that when Lideta Sub-City made an attempt to demolish the age-old building, the Heritage Trustee Association along with the government institutions and the heirs of the edifice took the case to the court to prevent it from being demolished.
The Director General of the Heritage Protection Authority, Abebaw Ayalew who was approached by the Reporter for further explanation said by mentioning a criteria his office has set that a building should fulfil six criteria to be named an ‘urban heritage’. Therefore, based on the criteria, it was decided that Lombardia Restaurant does not meet the criteria to be registered as urban heritage, according to Abebaw.
As a result, though the building was registered earlier as a heritage site, it was removed from the list of the heritage site as it did not meet the requirements set recently, according to the Reporter. Abebaw said that although the age of a building is one criterion, “it cannot be called a heritage just because it is 100 or 200 years old”.
The Director General stated that the issues raised by all parties regarding the status and appearance of heritage in Addis Ababa are challenging. He said that the old edifice named Eyerusalem Building, which was recently registered as a heritage site, was not based on accurate information.
Therefore, Abebaw expressed desire that the Addis Ababa City Administration should start a new registration with the newly set heritage registration criteria.
Therefore, the work will be done properly based on the guidelines in a way that helps to solve the problems, the Reporter said quoting the Director General of the Heritage Protection Authority, Abebaw Ayalew.
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