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Fire in famous Weimar Anna Amalia Library

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 02:25 pm
The roof of the world-famous is burning since some time.

The fire was discovered 1 1/2 hour ago, and police/fire brigade fear bad damgages to the roof and historical ceilings.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Weimar/Wittums.jpg

http://www.thueringen.de/imperia/md/images/homepagethringen/image/52.jpg

Best photo from inside HERE

Quote:
Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (Duchess Anna Amalia Library)

This library, housed in the former "Grünes Schloß" (Green Castle), was established in 1761-66 on the initiative of Duchess Anna Amalia and later fell under the supervision of Goethe from 1797 to 1832. With a collection of about 850,000 volumes, the library is regarded today as a literary treasure. In addition to art works, the library also houses special collections of the classical works of German literature and Thuringian history, the library of the German Shakespeare Society as well as a Faust collection which comprises 20,000 volumes. The historic "Rokokosaal" (Rococo Hall) with its collection of precious books, sculptures, paintings, drawings and globes is open to the public.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 5,949 • Replies: 27
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 03:00 pm
Oh what a shame. Such a beautiful place. I hope they can get the fire out before there is too much damage.

Precious books, paintings and drawings don't stand much of a chance against firehoses though.

Terribly sad.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 03:06 pm
There's one of the greatest Shakespeare collections outsite the UK, and rare/special collections
Almanacs, Literature (German), Music, Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Franz Liszt, Friedrich von Schiller.

Still burning, with flames up to 40 - 50 meters high. Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 03:11 pm
Fire seems to be under control by now.
Most of the most valuable (and movable) stuff was 'rescued' during the fire by staff and volunteers.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 03:16 pm
It is good to know that there are still people willing to rush into a burning building to save a book.

Thank you for the updates.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 04:10 pm
The fire is officially extinguished since half an hour.

Extinct of damashes and reason of fire (there have been restauration works) isn't known yet.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2004 11:56 pm
Seems that the fire division wall in the ceiling prevented the worst.

Some (21, to be precise) photos are to be seen at the dia-show on the local nwespaper's website:

http://diashow.thueringer-allgemeine.de/ta/weimar.diashow.annabrand/ta.weimar.diashow.annabrand.frameset.php
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2004 01:17 am
15,000 historical books are destroyed so far.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2004 02:01 am
Yep. The house would be to restore in a few weeks.
Unfortunaly now books of Shakespeare, Faust and more are destroyed.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 01:08 am
Quote:
History burns in Germany

Fire destroyed part of 16th-century library's collection.

By Andreas Tzortzis | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

WEIMAR, GERMANY - In a roped-off area down a green slope from what remains of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, the employees of the 16th-century cultural treasure gather as if at a wake.
"It's really like we've lost a relative," says Helga Brundig, who has worked here for more than 20 years.


http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0908/csmimg/p7a.jpg
RESCUED: Michael Knoche, director of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, carried a damaged book.
SASCHA FROMM/THUERINGER ALLGEMEINE/REUTERS


In five weeks, the entire collection of 1 million rare books and manuscripts from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries was to be moved to a new building so that the library could carry out a long-needed renovation. In one night, the plans, quite literally, turned to ash.

"The library lost 10 percent of its collection," says Hellmut Seemann, director of Weimar Classics Foundation, which oversees the building. "It is a massive gash in a collection from the classical period that is completely irreplaceable."

In a city that inspired writers like Goethe and Nietsche and composers like Bach and Liszt, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library is considered the crown jewel, the city's heart and soul. Scholars come from all over the world to Weimar to study the great works here. But the public is welcomed as well, giving residents a familiarity with the storied structure that is uncommon in Europe's cultural monuments.

Police investigators suspect that faulty wiring in the 473-year-old Renaissance building was the cause of a fire that consumed the two upper floors last Thursday evening. A large part of the roof is gone, and the two-story Rococo Hall, the Library's centerpiece, appears completely gutted.

Tuesday officials continued to tally the material devastation, two days after the final embers burned out. So far 25,000 works, including a collection of 16th- century musical scores belonging to Duchess Anna Amalia, the library's 18th-century patron, have been completely lost. Of the 50,000 books volunteers rescued as the roof burned, 15,000 are considered heavily damaged and have been spirited away to the Book Restoration Center in Leipzig. State culture officials estimate that recovery costs for each book will be $600 to $1200. Among the rescued pieces is the the library's 600-piece Bible collection, including Martin Luther's 1534 translation of the Old and New Testaments.

The toll also includes 33 oil paintings including the elaborate ceiling mural by Johann Heinrich Meyer in the Rococo Hall. The hall itself, where poets and philosophers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller worked and studied, will stand again, but renovation work will take more than a year and cost much more than the $10 million officials had budgeted. The Federal Government has so far promised 4 million euros ($4.8 million) in emergency funds.

"It's like a massive mosaic," says Mr. Seemann, the blackened shell of the building's roof behind him. "You can still see it, but there are important pieces missing." Seemann was enjoying a quiet evening with friends last Thursday when his cellphone rang shortly after the 8:30 p.m. fire alarm. Moments later he and dozens of others were sloshing through sooty water, forming a human chain to rescue the library's treasures even as the flaming roof threatened to cave in.

"That people would come and help, I expected that," says Seemann. "What I didn't expect was the mass of people that we had to hold back who wanted to rush in and carry out books."

Each day since the fire, hundreds of people have paused at the police barriers to survey the damage. "It's just tragic, absolutely tragic," says resident Werner Klemm, speaking barely above a whisper. "This [loss] affects all of Europe."

The foundation has fielded scores of calls and offers of help from scholars in France and the US, where a group is planning to found an American Friends of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library to gather donations. The first of what is expected to be a string of benefit concerts brought in 3,500 euros, and an account has been set up for public donations. Half of the 4 million euros promised by the government has already been transferred, though library officials say much more is needed.

"Many can understand that this is a catastrophe," says Roland Baerwinkel, a library employee. "This place means something to people."
Source
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 06:59 am
Thank you for the update Walter. This is really just too sad. I'm glad that they were able to save some of it and hope the restoration goes well.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 07:02 am
Well, I really like that place Crying or Very sad :wink:
0 Replies
 
tiro j
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2004 11:13 am
An update from Jay Rutherford, who until recently taught typography at the Bauhaus in Weimar, sent to the ATypI discussion list:

On September 2nd, the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek ( Duchess Anna Amalia Library) in Weimar burned. Anna Amalia was a noblewoman from the 18th century -- a kind of patroness for Goethe and Schiller et al, who used her family wealth in the service of culture and collected pretty much whatever they thought appropriate -- paintings, busts, manuscripts, books, scientific specimens and many other prescious objects. Many of these objects have been lost in the blaze. The fire has destroyed over 30,000 books, some dating back 1000 years -- 11th century monastic manuscripts, a huge collection of incunabula pieces, music manuscripts (the Franz Liszt Music University is also in Weimar) -- an incredible cultural loss. The building itself included a beautiful Rokoko Hall with intricate ceiling paintings -- irreplaceable. Flames reached over 20 metres and the whole city was full of smoke. A friend of mine found scorched book pages on the street half a kilometre away. They had just finished building modern underground storage facilities where many of these treasures were to be moved during renovation of the library. This was intended to start in about five weeks. The construction of these storage facilities took over two years. Now much of what was intended to be stored there is gone.

Apparently there had been a power failure on Thursday, probably due to renovation work. It was switched back on as usual. As people were leaving for the day, the alarm went off again (the same alarm serves for fire as well as motion sensors against theft). They assumed that it was just another book falling off a shelf, as apparently happens regularly, turned off the alarm, and went their merry ways. A couple of hours later, someone saw smoke and called the fire dept. They tried to carefully contain what appeared to be a small fire, avoiding soaking (and ruining) the priceless volumes. A gust of air from somewhere ignited the embers and flames leapt suddenly 20 meters into the sky. It took them the whole night to get it under control. Volunteers and library employees evacuated as many of the books as they could, about 40,000 or so, which have been removed to a facility in Leipzig where they will be frozen for later restoration (I have a friend who works for the Stiftung who will probably be busy for the rest of his life with this). The whole roof is basically (burnt) toast and was still smouldering two days after the fire. The collection included around 600 bibles, mostly unique specimens dating from the Reformation. An original Luther bible was saved by Mr. Knoche, the library's director, who raced into the building against orders from the fire department and retrieved it from the smoking room. He couldn't see a thing, but knew exactly where it was and grabbed it by feel. In spite of heroic efforts by library staff, who salvaged many volumes from the smoke, it is a very sad situation -- a huge loss to world culture.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described the Anna Amalia library as "Germany's most important collection of knowledge". I've heard there were articles in Canada's Globe and Mail as well as several major American papers. I don't know whether the weight of this tragedy will be adequately recognized around the world.

I did a project a few years ago where I had quotations from famous people painted onto facades of public and private buildings throughout Weimar's historic city centre. There has been continuous interest in this thing, and I have decided to have T-shirts printed with a few of the quotations. Proceeds will go towards the restoration of the salvaged books. I am told the Bauhaus University intends to sell these shirts on their web site: http://www.uni-weimar.de/ (not yet -- try in a couple of weeks).

If anyone is interested in making a direct donation to help with the book
and/or library restoration, here are the international bank co-ordinates:

Bank: Sparkasse Mittelthueringen
Gesellschaft Anna Amalia Bibliothek e.v.
IBAN (Int'l Bank Account Number): DE76820510000301040400
BIC (Bank ID Code, same as Swift): HELADEF1WEM
Kennwort (keyword): Reconstruction HAAB
(Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek)
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2004 12:08 pm
Thanks for this update, tiro_j, and welcome to A2K!




The (German) account number (Konto Nummer) is
301 040 400,

the (German)bank identification code (Bankleitzahl)
820 510 00.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Sep, 2004 08:25 am
Quote:
Fire in historic library in Weimar destroyed more books than previously thought
Tuesday September 21, 2004
WEIMAR, Germany (AP) A fire that hit a historic German library earlier this month destroyed twice as many books as previously thought, with some 50,000 works suffering irreparable fire damage, officials said Tuesday.

The Sept. 2 fire at Weimar's Duchess Anna Amalia Library tore through the roof and top floor of the 16th-century rococo palace housing the library, destroying classic books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in the city where the nation's most revered writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, spent much of his life.

``The damages are much more terrible than we thought on the night of the fire,'' Hellmut Seemann, the president of the foundation that supports the library, told reporters.

In addition to the books lost, Seemann said that about 62,000 books were damaged, about 20 percent of the library's collection. Restoring those books will cost up to $73 million and take some seven years.

The books lost in the fire will be listed in an online database to be made available to the public, library director Michael Knoche said.

In addition, 37 paintings, including a 1760 portrait of Countess Anna Amalia by Johann Friedrich Loeber, were destroyed. Another 100 paintings, 80 sculptures and 20 drawings were damaged but can be restored, officials said.

Fire investigators have still not pinpointed the exact cause of the blaze, although earlier this month they said that a faulty electrical cable may have been responsible.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2004 04:44 pm
I've been to Weimar a couple of days ago:

you really get tears in your eyes.


This link shows the differences to the building ... but I saw some of the books, too. Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2005 03:12 am
A new annex to the library will be opened today

http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/media_fast/626/Amalia_460_dpa.jpg

(Two storey underground plus a study center.)

The old library will be opened -partly- as well.

The Duchess Anna Amalia Library 100 days after the Fire

Virtual course trough the Anna-Amalia-Library
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2005 03:51 pm
Quote:
Germany Opens Wing of Historic Library

Friday February 4, 2005 9:16 PM


WEIMAR, Germany (AP) - Officials on Friday opened a new wing in a historic German library that suffered severe damage in a fire five months ago.

Some 50,000 works in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library suffered irreparable damage on Sept. 2 when a blaze swept through the roof and top floor of the 16th-century rococo palace in Weimar, hometown to Germany's most revered writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

At the opening ceremony for the new wing, German Deputy Minister for Culture Christina Weiss handed the library director copies of 13 books - found by antique dealers - that had been destroyed in the blaze.

Classic volumes from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were destroyed.

The new wing, which cost $32.4 million, includes a system of underground stacks and a research center. It can house up to 1 million books.
Source
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2005 04:43 pm
Damn - and what a lovely building, too!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2005 08:04 pm
My goodness, that was fast...
0 Replies
 
 

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