Egypt cancels Alexandria Library grand opening due to Israeli offensive
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday cancelled the grand opening later this month of the New Alexandria Library, charging that Israel had spoiled the party due to its military offensive.
Mubarak sent apology letters to kings, princes, political leaders, intellectuals and other distinguished people who had been invited to the inauguration scheduled for April 23, Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) said, cited by AFP.
The library's opening was to have been celebrated as a rebirth of the famed library which burned to the ground 1,600 years ago, however its opening has been delayed until "further notice," MENA added.
Mubarak expressed his "sorrow for what Israel did to the whole area and the world, and for the shameful tragedies that shocked consciences all over the world and led to an inappropriate atmosphere for the celebration," MENA said.
Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak announced in May last year that the library's grand opening would finally take place on April 23, after several delays needed to complete the preparations and secure the first batch of 400,000 books.
The vast facility, which looks like a solar disc tilting toward the Mediterranean Sea, will eventually house an estimated 10 million volumes, the library's director Ismail Serrageddine has said.
Serrageddine, the former vice president of the World Bank and noted intellectual, stated the facility cost about 200 million dollars, AFP added. (Albawaba.com)
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