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Unexpected treasures are hidding at Adamantios Koray's library in Chios.
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A quote from Paolo Coelho's book "The Alchemist" says "When we have the great treasures in front of us we usually don't see them". Something similars happens the Koray library in Chios. Not only the history but also its contribution during history shows how big and important it is.
But let's take things from the beginning. The Adamantios Korays' library is one of the largest libraries in Greece with more than 200,000 books. It was founded in 1792 as a branch of the Great School of Chios (today it is Chios 1st gymnasium) and the contribution of Adamantios Koray was instrumental in all the phases of the library hosting both his own books but also books of Koray's friends, mainly Greek scholars from abroad, who donated books and enhanced the library. Those books are still in the library despite all the damage suffered.
In addition to this facts the library hosts two very important and priceless treasures. The first one which was characterized by many as "the richest museum of the universe '. It is a multi-volume treatise entitled 'Description de le Egypte' (Description of Egypt). The book was published by the decree of Great Napoleon by the imperial printing house in Paris in 1809. These 20 volumes which included 9,500 pages of text and 974 boards 74 of which are in color. Ancient Egypt, modern Egypt and the natural history of the country are the three major categories to which is added a volume dedicated to the mapping of the country.
Napoleon trying to honor Adamantios Koray for the translation of Stravonas Geographic, along with La porte du Theil and geographer Gosselin, he donated a descriptive copy which is in the library. Indeed in Koray's personal letters he can't hide his enthusiasm for this gift calling it as an 'unexpected boon', but also expressing his deepest concern about the fate of this treasure "if in the meantime his death might mean the lose of such a valuable and rare book" . Definitely a reason to get you in this library and seen this' unexpected boon. "
Another thing the visitor should observe when entering the reading room of the library is a flag, not any flag but the Greek flag and even more the first Greek flag which was raised after the liberation of Chios by the Turks in 1912. The history is as follows: A mademoiselle called Eugenia Madia after the liberation of Chios made this historic flag out of her trunk's clothes and begged commandant Lt. Katafygioti to rise this flag in the place where until a short while ago and for so many years were the Turkish flag. So this Greek flag for the shake of which so many of her fellow citizens gave body and soul, rised with cheers and applause.
This library is definitely a place that we should all visit not only to experience a common library, but to experience a temple of history and knowledge carrying so many treasures to discover on its shelves.
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