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Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011
This day will be marked as "the Black day for Egyptian Heritage". Morning during conflicts between some Egyptian protests, the Egyptian Scientific Institute which established in 1798 by Napolean Bonaparte has been burned. The Egyptian Scientific Institute is the oldest sceintific institute in Egypt and Middle East at all. It has the most rich and rare library in Egypt.
The fire started on the lower floors of the building, which is on Qasr al-Aini Street in central Cairo, but later reached the higher floors. The firemen, who arrived very late at the site, could not initially control the fire. Eyewitnesses were reported to have seen protestors throwing a Molotov cocktail at stone-throwing soldiers at the Shura Council building, but the projectile missed the intended target and instead landed in the Egyptian Scientific Institute.
The library contains about 40.000 items of rare books and manuscripts, however it has unvaluable items, like:
- The original copy of the french book "Description de l'Egypte"
- Atlas of Old Indian arts.
- German atlas about Egypt and Ethiopia, 1842.
- "Egypt: the mother of the world", 1753.
Professor Mahmoud al-Shernoby, the general secretary of the institute, told state TV in a phone interview that the damage is a “great loss” to Egypt and that those “who caused this disaster showed be punished.”