It pains me to hear that the richest library in Cairo has been decimated by fire. Many experts feel the threat of foreign intervention, under guise of protecting historical sites, is high. The 213 year old Scientific Center was the oldest in Egypt and held over 200,000 rare and irreplaceable maps, manuscripts and books.
|Egyptian restorer salvaging burnt and damaged books.|
This is a travesty that will never be fully mended while rich historical information is, once again, lost forever.
The library was established in 1798 by Napoleon Bonaparte during the French invasion and named L'Institut d'Egypte. The original manuscript of the "Description de L'Egypte" (Description of Egypt) was destroyed in the blaze along with "irreplaceable maps and historical manuscripts preserved by many generations since the building of the Scientific Center in August 1798 during the French Campaign" says, recently military appointed, Prime Minister Ganzouri.
|What's left of ancient document, "Le Description de L'Egypte"|
Several Egyptian archaeologists suspect a conspiracy to destroy maps and evidence of Egypt's borders. Professor of archeology Ayman Hassan al-Dashan argues that the military council is either an accomplice to the arson or is incapable of distinguishing protesters from saboteurs.
While the military didn't lift a finger to arrest those involved or attempt to save the building; they took minute by minute photos to capture the chaos.
The firemen arrived very late; enabling time for the fire to engulf the entire building along with all it's irreplaceable collections. Experts warn similar acts of sabotage and the inability to control them will make foreign intervention a likely reality. Ganzouri labeled the tragedy "arson committed by the protesters who portrayed no patriotism in protecting the symbols of the historical civilization of this nation."
It seems this has all been an effort to demonize protesters, undermine the state and bring about foreign occupation.
At least 10 people were killed although the death toll is still uncertain. Ganzouri denies the use of live ammunition by his forces while 6 of those dead were killed by gunfire. The devastation of these crimes and the events that follow will go down in history. Violence against Arab Spring protesters by military and riot control continues to rise along with the death toll.