A FAMOUS monument at the entrance of a historic Bahraini village is to be relocated to pave the way for much-needed road development.
The 14-metre-high A’ali Pottery Monument, which represents the traditional handicraft of the village for around 4,000 years, was set up at the roundabout near Ramli Mall on Shaikh Zayed Highway in 2007.
It is made of cement and has cost the government BD200,000.
However, the Northern Municipal Council has recommended that the monument now be removed following several complaints that the roads leading to roundabout are constantly crowded, causing huge traffic jams and long delays.
On the one side the highway is the main link to the Educational Area in Isa Town and on the other side it leads to Khalifa Bin Salman Highway.
The area also witnesses a huge flow of vehicles used by driving instructors and traffic examiners from the Driving School Bahrain located on the same highway.
Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry Minister Essam Khalaf has approved the move, but requested the council to present him with proposals as to where the monument should be relocated.
The council has suggested it be moved either to the village’s main roundabout opposite Naim Grills or the A’ali Walkway.
“The monument is beautiful, despite numerous attempts to deface it over the years either by anti-government graffiti or Molotov cocktails hurled at it,” area councillor Abdulla Ashoor told the GDN.
“But all that has stopped now. The monument has been repainted and for two years now it has not been touched by anyone.
“The problem is not with the monument but its location at the roundabout; we want it to be removed and replaced with traffic lights.
“The density of traffic at the roundabout causes huge tailbacks during peak hours, sometimes even leading to accidents.
“The Driving School Bahrain is also located on the highway; the chaotic scene doesn’t need explanation, it is clear to everyone and for that road works to clear it need to be done immediately.”
Mr Ashoor said the monument is built on top of a concrete base which will make it easier to move it without damaging it.
“The minister has agreed to relocate the monument,” he said
“I don’t really care about the cost. All I care about is that the monument is not damaged and that the road is developed.”
Mr Ashoor said if the monument is moved to the roundabout near Naim Grills, it will still be visible from Shaikh Zayed Highway or the Ramli Mall roundabout since it is just 100 metres away.
“I have been told that work is set to begin in the next two months, but I am waiting for official plans to be presented,” he said.