Fire at famed Weimar library destroys30,000 priceless volumes

3rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 Septmber 2004, WEIMAR - An overnight fire at the famed Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar may have destroyed 30,000 irreplaceable volumes dating back to the Renaissance, officials in Germany said Friday. The fire of unknown origin gutted the attic of the 16th Century rococo palace. The blaze was extinguished in two hours, but water from firefighting efforts cascaded into lower floors of the 400-year-old structure, causing extensive damage to precious books, said Thuringia State Premier Dieter Althaus.

3 Septmber 2004

WEIMAR - An overnight fire at the famed Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar may have destroyed 30,000 irreplaceable volumes dating back to the Renaissance, officials in Germany said Friday.

The fire of unknown origin gutted the attic of the 16th Century rococo palace.

The blaze was extinguished in two hours, but water from firefighting efforts cascaded into lower floors of the 400-year-old structure, causing extensive damage to precious books, said Thuringia State Premier Dieter Althaus.

Besides those books destroyed outright, another 20,000 may have been damaged so badly as to be irreparable, said Althaus.

The Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia and her son, Duke Carl August, put Weimar on Europe's cultural map in the late 18th Century. Seeking a tutor for her son, the duchess hired Christoph Martin Wieland, a well-known poet and translator of Shakespeare's works.

Anna Amalia also created a library in a 16th century rococo-style palace, with Wieland's Shakespeare volumes comprising the core of the collection.

It later fell under the supervision of German author and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and the collection includes the world's largest "Faust" collection.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library was home to 850,000 volumes prior to the fire.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article