The Institut d’Egypte, a collection of 192,000 documents first opened in Egypt in the 18th century, burned for 12 hours this weekend. Tragically, protestors alleged that they were attacked by soldiers as they tried to rescue 200 year old manuscripts from the burning library.
Here’s more from Egyptian Independent: “The first to enter the building and save documents did so while the fire was still raging. Several young men were shot at and pelted with rocks as they tried to enter the building … Another young man had his back broken by a rock as he attempted to carry books out of the burning building. Others say that as they worked to arrange the books on the pavement outside, soldiers taunted and threatened them.”
The building caught fire during violent engagements between protestors and soldiers. Institute director Mohammed al-Sharbouni summed up the destruction: “The burning of such a rich building means a large part of Egyptian history has ended.”