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Subject: Fire in Linkoping Library

Fire in Linkoping Library

From: Lars Aronsson <aronsson>
Date: Saturday, September 21, 1996
Linkoping City Library was destroyed by fire tonight, starting at
circa 23:00 hours 20 September, 1996 local time.  There are strong
evidence the fire was not an accident, but an assault on an
immigrants' information office in the same building.  Threats to
this end have been heard during the last year.

This is very serious and sad event, which I guess will be on CNN.
For more information in Swedish, keep an eye on these pages:

  http://www.corren.se/            Local newspaper
  http://www.linkoping.se/        City administration
  http://www.linkoping.se/bibliotek/    City library

I was on site when the fire broke out, as the bi-annual cultural
event "Humanistdygnet / humanistnatten" was taking place.  As the
last activities for the day had ended, hundreds of participants were
just about to leave the building, as voices started to talk about
fire. Everybody walked out of the two-story building nice and calm,
but only twenty minutes later the entire building was eaten by
flames.  Chocked citizens were watching the fire from the adjacent
park.

Fire fighters were on site early, but could not do much.  The office
wing seemed to be mostly saved, while the library wing was totally
destroyed.  I guess that the fire fighters wanted to save the office
wing because just across a narrow street is a home for retired
people. The library wing faces an open park.

Linkoping is Sweden's fifth largest city.  It is a bishop site since
the 12th century and the cathedral (one block away from the library)
dates back to the 13th century.  The destroyed library building was
raised in downtown Linkoping sometimes in the 1960s or 1970s.  The
library possessed Sweden's fourth largest collection of manuscripts
(after Stockholm, Uppsala, Lund), according to an unconfirmed
source. I do not know where the manuscript collection was kept, and
whether it was threatened by the fire.  The city library is the main
library of the town, the county, and the bishopric, thus dating
several centuries back.  Linkoping is a Sister City with Palo Alto,
California.

Linkoping University Library, as a contrast, is situated on campus,
outside of town.  Linkoping University was founded in 1969.

Lars Aronsson.
Project Runeberg

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:30
                Distributed: Monday, September 23, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-30-001
                                  ***
Received on Saturday, 21 September, 1996

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