Saturday, August 29, 2009

Alexandria’s new library shelving scholarship for profit, say critics

From the Guardian Article:

The $220m Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened seven years ago in Alexandria, Egypt. It was meant to be the library that recaptured the ancient glories of Alexandria, providing a new home for the world’s knowledge almost 2,000 years after its predecessor was burnt to the ground.

But whereas the old Egyptian library offered a rich diet of philosophy and history to the greatest thinkers of its age including Euclid, Archimedes, and Herophilus, the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina is coming in for harsh criticism for serving up a very different kind of fare.

A row has erupted over the decision to build a food court at the heart of Egypt’s self-proclaimed “window on the world”, with campaigners accusing the Bibliotheca’s trustees of selling out the library’s venerable legacy for short-term profit.

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