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Who is responsible for billboard blown down by wind in Minsk?

Photo: telegram channel ‘Matolka, help!’

A huge billboard was blown down by the wind near Victory Square in Minsk on July 16. The place is usually crowded but luckily nobody was injured since it was raining heavily at that moment.

Blogger and urban activist Anton Matolka posted the photo of a big billboard blown down by the wind right onto the entrance to the metro in his Telegram channel “Matolka, help!”. The photo clearly shows that the billboard was not dug into the ground and was simply ‘glued’ to the pavement.

The billboard was removed by the morning but the traces of the collapse can still be seen: a stone parapet is damaged in several spots. An identical billboard is installed across the road. Besides ‘the glue’, there are small rods holding it in place.

Only damaged pavement tiles remind of the billboard now.

It is easy to imagine what may happen to the second billboard during the next flood in Minsk. However, the company “BigBoard” takes no action.

"It is unpredictable. Trees and anything else can collapse during a storm. No one can feel secured against it! All the constructions were installed correctly. The weather was just bad,” the company employee told Euroradio. She did not let us talk to the director because he had refused to comment on the incident.

"Why did one of the billboards fall down while the other one didn’t?" we asked again.

"Why do some trees fall down while others don’t? Can you answer this question?” the billboard installers replied.

The billboard that survived the flood.

Minsk City Executive Committee department for architecture is only responsible for the distribution of spots for billboards and for checking whether they fit into the city landscape.

“The owner of the construction is responsible for its condition. An expertise is required to find out why the billboard was blown down," officials replied.

The committee officials also mentioned trees. When asked about the billboard across the road, they answered: “When a tree falls down it does not mean that other trees need to be sawed down.”

Why do some trees fall down and others do not? It is a philosophical question. Luckily, nobody was killed. We can keep asking questions: why do some entrepreneurs and officials get jailed and others don’t?

We already know the answer: “It depends on the weather. No one can feel secured against it.”