A ‘Save Dead Sea’ cry

TUCKED snuggly into the north-western corner of the Dead Sea, a few dozen small bullet-riddled concrete buildings have become a most unusual art gallery in an artistic attempt to highlight the Dead Sea’s slowly but surely disappearing mineral rich waters.

The nowadays derelict, pockmarked buildings at Kalia in the Jordan Valley Rift — originally constructed as a base and centre of operations by the Jordanian Army in the 1950s — have become a more than colourful, bellowing artistic cry in the desert conjured up by 30 Israeli and other graffiti artists from around the world.

The collection of eye-catching and thought-provoking eclectic artistic works displayed across the decaying walls at Kalia have been created not only to highlight the slow and disastrous shrinking of the Dead Sea but also to bring about serious efforts to save the iconic expanse of mineral rich waters containing bromide, magnesium, calcium, sulphur and far more.

The majority of the low buildings served as barracks for Jordanian soldiers, shower blocks, garage and other service facilities, while a large two-floor building housed the kitchen and dining-room complex.

Another separate large building with a number of floors is a short distance from the others and it was here that Jordanian army officers were billeted.

Known as the Gallery Minus 430 at Kalia Beach — its long abandoned buildings slowly crumbling away in the relentless harsh conditions — is aptly named as it is situated an incredible 430 metres below sea level.

The artists can surely rightly describe their work as hanging, or plastered, on and across the walls of the lowest art gallery in the world!

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