One of the world’s cultural crown jewels and UNESCO world heritage site the Anna Amalia library in Weimar, east Germany, has reopened after restoration.
The 450 year old building’s third floor was destroyed by fire three years ago, and a mammoth effort the night of the blaze and since means that many of the books were saved.
24 000 were destroyed or damaged, and are now being restored to replenish the libarary’s magnificently rebuilt shelves. German President Horst Köhler;
“This is despite the irreplaceable loss a day of great joy for German culture”.
The fire in September 2004 produced scenes of desperate bravery as firefighters tried to save works from the flames and water. Lost forever were a 22-volume economics encylopaedia and a Copernican atlas, but countless other works from the 16th century on were saved.
Now the work on repairing the worst-damaged books begins; 50 million euros are still needed to finish the job.