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La Libération newspaper has confirmed that the 213-year-old Institut d’Égypte, which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798, has been ravaged by fire. The Institute is near Tahrir Square, which has been the site of protests, confrontations and police violence, and it is considered the oldest scientific institute in Egypt with more than 200,000 books, including the original volumes of the “Description de l’Égypte” (Description of Egypt), begun in 1798 by French scientists in Egypt.
BBC reports that the fire at the Instite was set two days ago during the early phase of violence between Egyptian military forces and protesters and the fire is still smoldering. It doesn’t appear clear at this time what ignited the fire.
According to La Libération:
Les murs extérieurs, noircis autour des fenêtres, sont encore debout, mais la toiture et les planchers se sont effondrés. L’intérieur n’est plus qu’un amoncellement de gravats calcinés d’où émergent des fragments d’étagères ou des morceaux de reliures.
[Translation: The exterior walls, blackened around the windows, are still standing but the roof and floors collapsed. The interior is nothing but a pile of charred rubble from which emerge fragments of shelves or pieces of bindings.]
Le Monde reports:
Des manifestants ont pénétré, dimanche 18 décembre, dans le bâtiment encore fumant de l’Institut d’Egypte, incendié la veille, pour en extraire des manuscrits anciens, dont une partie était brûlée. Le ministre de la culture Chaker Abdel Hamid a qualifié ce sinistre de “catastrophe pour la science”, et annoncé la “formation d’un comité de spécialistes de la restauration des livres et des manuscrits quand les conditions de sécurité le permettront”.
[Translation: On Sunday, December 18, demonstrators entered the Institut d’Egypte building which was still smoldering from the fire the day before, to extract ancient manuscripts, some of which were burned. The Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel Hamiddescribed the disaster “catastrophe for science,” and announced the”formation of a committee of specialists in the restoration of books and manuscripts when security conditions permit.”]
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.