Beyond 2012, Doel, Belgium will only exist in pictures and memories. The tiny village is scheduled to be completely destroyed to make room for an expanding harbor, and even protest and the incredible street art in the abandoned town cannot stop the inevitable destruction.
For 700 years, Doel stood near Antwerp along the Scheldt River in Belgium. As Antwerp expanded in the 20th century, its port needed more space, and Doel quickly became a target for demolition. Trying to force residents out, the government scheduled demolitions multiple times, but were beaten by popular protests from the 1970s through the 1990s.
But despite the will of the people, Doel could not be saved and in 1999, the town was officially scheduled for complete demolition. Since that time, residents have trickled out, but artists have made their way in. As more of the town became abandoned, street artists from across Europe came and began to debut their works around Doel.
Today, there are fewer than 200 inhabitants left and they are scheduled to leave as soon as possible. The government plans to continue with demolition as soon as residents evacuate. Along with the homes of residents who were forced out, the living street art gallery of Doel will be lost forever.