6,500 rare books burnt to ashes after fire in Arisvi Culture Center on Lesvos


A fire in the "Arisvi Cultural Center" of Kalloni on the island of Lesvos late on Wednesday destroyed thousands of rare books, some of them dating back to the beginning of the 18th century.

The fire broke out shortly before midnight on Wednesday in the "Arisvi Culture Club" and burned down not only the building but also 6,500 volumes of rare books.

The building dated back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Owned by the Moumtzi Foundation, the Arisvi Club was an institution whose purpose was to support the Primary School of Kalloni, but also housed the ETHOK (Amateur Theater Club of Kalloni), the club's cloakroom, the Hunting Association of Kalloni, as well as the offices of the Aegean Writers' Union and the chess club.

According to the President of the Spiritual Center of Kalloni "Arisvi Club" Aristovoulos Eleftheriou, "the 6,500 volumes of rare books, many of which were published from the early 1700s, thousands of manuscripts and papyri recorded the history mainly of Kalloni, but also of Lesvos and modern Greece."

Important paintings, symbols, original articles of incorporation of the association, and manuscripts from the year 1905 were turned into ashes.

"The recorded history of our country was burned down. The historical building that housed spiritual works, lectures, presentations and works by people of the spirit, the arts of science, speeches by political leaders, prime ministers, military men of the turbulent times of our country, religious leaders, and ordinary people of the region was burned down," Eleftherious stressed.

It should be noted that the halls of the Spiritual Center of Kalloni "Arisvi Club" were closed since the beginning of April and were to reopen in the upcoming September.

Eleftheriou urged the Fire Service to investigate the causes of the blaze in depth.

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