Public Statement by Ismail Serageldin
Alexandria, 4 December—The
following statement is attributable to the Director of the Library of
Alexandria, Dr. Ismail Serageldin:
“Recent press reports
concerning the presence of the first Arabic translation of the Protocols of the
Elders of Zion in an exhibition in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina deserve a
prompt and clear reply. Preliminary investigation determined that the book was
briefly displayed in a showcase devoted to rotating samples of curiosities and
unusual items in our collection. The book was never displayed alongside the
Jewish Torah nor has it ever been stated that it is a holy book or the basis
for a Jewish constitution. The book is a well-known 19th century
fabrication to foment anti-Jewish feelings.
“The book was promptly
withdrawn from public display, but its very inclusion showed bad judgment and
insensitivity, and an internal administrative hearing is underway to determine
whether further action is to be taken.
Alexandrina is profoundly committed to its role as a center of learning and
a place promoting tolerance, dialogue and understanding between peoples,
cultures and civilizations. We are honored to work with distinguished
international partners in promoting these universal ideals”.