Saturday, September 04, 2004

Library Tragedy in Germany

From the AP as reported in the International Herald Tribune

As many as 30,000 priceless books may have been destroyed by a fire that swept through an historic library in this eastern German city, authorities said Friday. Some 6,000 historical works--including a 1534 Martin Luther Bible--were saved by a human chain, which spirited them away from the flames. Officials were surveying the damage caused by the fire Thursday night in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, housed in a 16th-century rococo palace in Weimar. The fire broke out in a top floor and raged for two hours before firefighters put it out. And investigation into the cause is underway. "A piece of the world's cultural heritage has been lost forever," said Culture Minister Christine Weiss. During the fire, workers managed to pass 6,000 books, including travel papers by the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, to safety before having to abandon their rescue attempts when the ceiling threatened to collapse.
(via The Literary Saloon