Bibliotheca Alexandrina 'saved from looters by youths'
2nd February 2011
The director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt has thanked the young people who have been protecting the building as the country is swept by unrest.
In a statement on the library's website, Ismail Serageldin pointed out that cases of looting were seen in some areas of the country after a large number of its citizens began demonstrating for political reform.
However, the director added that groups of young people started to collaborate with the army to protect cultural buildings such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Egyptian Museum.
'The library is safe thanks to Egypt's youth, whether they be the staff of the library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters,' Serageldin commented.
He added that this 'makeshift arrangement' is likely to continue until full public order is returned to Egypt's streets.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was opened in 2002 as the successor to the ancient Library of Alexandria, a centre of learning during the Ptolemaic dynasty. The building is also home to a planetarium, eight academic research centres and 15 permanent exhibitions.