Jorge Basadre during the ceremony of laying the first stone for the reconstruction of the BNP


National Library of Peru

National Library of Peru
Lima, Peru

In the early morning of May 10, 1943, a voracious fire consumed much of the building and the collections of the then National Library of Peru. A few days after the disaster, the government appointed a Pro-Reconstruction commission. In July of the same year, Jorge Basadre assumed the leadership of BNP.
Years later, in the report rendered on his efforts at the National Library between 1943 and 1945, Jorge Basadre would say: "It was my deep conviction that the disgraceful flames of the fire must have destroyed more than books, manuscripts, shelves. On its ashes only It was up to Peru to erect another institution not to be as similar as possible to the old one, but to try to be as similar as possible to what a modern library means in a democratic country. "


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