Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thousands of rare books go up in flames in Cairo
Posted by dault
Huffington Post has reported today that the "Institute d'Egypte, a research center set up by Napoleon Bonaparte during France's invasion in the late 18th century, caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt's military over the weekend. It was home to a treasure trove of writings, most notably the handwritten 24-volume Description de l'Egypte, which began during the 1798-1801 French occupation."
Thousands of volumes have been damaged, and many are burned beyond recovery. "This is equal to the burning of Galileo's books," Zein Abdel-Hady, who runs the country's main library, said.
The full Huffington Post article can be accessed here.