In 48 BC, the famous Library of Alexandria, built in the 3rd BC, was attacked by Julius Caesar, during the Alexandrian war. A huge fire swallowed up its 40,000 scrolls that were burnt. It would seem that this was the end of the legend, but 2,000 years later, after 10 years of planning, the Egyptian government and UNESCO put their effort to revive the ancient Library.
The New Library of Alexandria is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca. It is much more than a library. The Library aims to be a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples.
The unique role of the Library of Alexandria, as that of a great Egyptian Library with international dimensions, focuses on four main aspects, that seek to recapture the spirit of the original ancient Library of Alexandria. It aspires to be:
The world’s window on Egypt; Egypt’s window on the world; a leading institution of the digital age; a center for learning, tolerance, dialogue and understanding. Part of the Library, is also the Antiquities Museums, with its collection of rare artifacts from the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.
In Alexandria, visitors can travel back in time to the Serapeum in the 2nd century and the harbor of Alexandria in the 3rd and 6th centuries AD.
There they will find a stunning range of objects including a funerary mask, a papyrus of Homer, a gold ring, a statue of Harpocrates and many more.
Playing the role of Marcus, they will discover stories of ancestors including the wealthy twin sisters Domitia and Minerva; the sculptor Maximianus and his son, Adrianus; the baker Daninos and his cousin, Senesius.
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