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A million rare documents damaged in Moscow library blaze

That’s always a tragedy, the loss of books/written works is just sad 😦 **DB

“A million rare documents damaged in Moscow library blaze”

via “AFP

Moscow (AFP) – A fire that ripped through one of Russia’s largest university libraries is believed to have damaged over one million historic documents, with some describing the fire as a cultural “Chernobyl.”

The blaze, which started Friday and was still not completely out on Saturday evening, ravaged 2,000 square metres (21,500 square feet) of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION) in Moscow, which was created in 1918 and holds 10 million documents with some dating back to the 16th century.

“It’s a major loss for science. This is the largest collection of its kind in the world, probably equivalent to the (United States) Library of Congress,” Vladimir Fortov, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences was quoted as saying by Russia press agencies.

“One can find documents there that are impossible to find elsewhere, all the social sciences use this library. What has happened here is reminiscent of Chernobyl,” he said referring to the 1986 nuclear catastrophe.

Fortov said about 15 percent of the collection had been damaged at the library, which includes one of the world’s richest collections of Slavic language works, but also documents from Britain, Italy and the US.

Fortov told Kommersant FM radio that much of the damage was caused by water from the firefighting operations.

No one was injured in the inferno.

The fire broke out on Friday evening on the library’s second floor and continued burning all day Saturday despite 200 firefighters’ efforts to douse the blaze.

Library authorities initially said the documents were not in danger, but once the fire caused 1,000 square metres of the roof to collapse they were less certain about the risk to the collection.

A rescue service source told state-run RIA Novosti news agency it was impossible to remove the books because of the intense heat in the building.

According to Russian media, investigators looking into the cause of the blaze suspect an electrical short-circuit was to blame.

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“In the Wild North”

shishkin

“in the Wild North” by Ivan Shishkin (1891)

 

Russia Seeks to Protect its Arctic Culture Heritage Sites

“Russia Seeks to Protect its Arctic Culture Heritage Sites”

Via “RIA Novosti”

Russia’s unique monuments and sites in the Arctic may soon be included among the state culture objects registry for further state protection.

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – The authorities of Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region are set to apply to Russia’s Culture Ministry to include the unique objects of Russia’s Arctic culture heritage into the state culture heritage registry for further state protection, the regional Culture Ministry reported.

The initiative has been discussed at a meeting of the commission on the maritime heritage of Russia’s Marine Board within the framework of “For the Glory of the Fleet and the Fatherland” forum.

“There are many places of unique beauty in the Russian North which are of great architectural, historic and spiritual interest. Among them are lighthouses, polar hydrometeostations and a complex of defense constructions in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, a Cross on the Franz Josef Land archipelago commemorating the 1913-1914 polar expedition of Russian Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov and Russia’s first stone bastion – the Novodvinskaya fortress,” said the governor of the region, Igor Orlov. (more…)