EU to fund last phase of Sarajevo library rebuilding

SARAJEVO- The European Union will fund the last phase of restoring the national library in Sarajevo which became a symbol of the destruction of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, officials said Wednesday.
The final part of the library's reconstruction, valued at 4.9 million euros ($6.4 million), should be finished by April 2014, Sarajevo mayor Alija Behmen said after signing the accord with EU special representative in Bosnia Peter Sorensen.

"Sarajevo will once again have its jewel, constructed in the era when Bosnia was a part of the Autro-Hungarian empire," Behmen said.
Sorensen said the "protection of cultural heritage is of crucial value for the EU, as we are committed to respecting diversity and identity."
In August 1992, Bosnian Serb gunners targeted the library, built in 1896 in a pseudo-Moorish style, almost burning it to the ground.
The library had about two million books, among them a number of rare prints.
Only 300,000 books were spared from the flames.
After the end of the war, the building became a seat of the municipal administration.
Its reconstruction began in 1996, financially supported by a number of European countries.

Thursday, March 8th 2012

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