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Library czar laments lack of restoration materials after fire

Library/archives director Abdel Wahed El-Nabawy says he lacks materials needed to restore manuscripts damaged in last week's fire

Mohammed Saad , Monday 26 Dec 2011
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Newly appointed director of Egypt’s Library and Archives Dept. Abdel Wahed El-Nabawy complained on Monday of the lack of materials needed to restore old manuscripts that have been rescued from the Egyptian Scientific Institute. The institute, located in downtown Cairo, was ravaged by fire last week during clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators.

El-Nabawy told Ahram Online that department officials were working “as hard as they could” to restore damaged manuscripts, but were limited in terms of the restoration materials they have at their disposal.

“We’ve informed the Ministry of Culture of the problem and we’re waiting for support,” he said. “The Egyptian Armed Forces and the Al-Ahram publishing house have both provided us with some restoration materials and experts, but we’re still in great need.”

The process of drying the books, many of which were soaked with water, is ongoing, Al-Nabawy explained. “The drying process is complicated and involves a series of long procedures,” he said.

The number of manuscripts saved from last week’s fire has been estimated at 50,000.

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