Library Fire in Moscow Destroys Millions of Volumes

New York Times – February 1, 2015 By Sophia Kishkovsky

Firefighters worked Saturday to put out a library fire at the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences in Moscow.Credit Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Associated Press

A major fire that threatened to consume one of Russia’s most important libraries was finally put out late Saturday, but scholars are only beginning to assess the damage from the flames, smoke and water.

The fire broke out at the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences in Moscow on Friday evening and engulfed more than 21,500 square feet of the Soviet-era building. Vladimir Fortov, president of Russia’s Academy of Sciences said on Saturday that the scene “reminds one of Chernobyl” and estimated that 15 percent of the 10 million volumes and materials in the library, which he compared to the Library of Congress, had been damaged.

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