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Iranian President inaugurates new National Library

3/1/05 Tehran, March 1, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday inaugurated the new building of Iran's National Library in the presence of cultural, scientific, political officials and foreign guests.

photo: ISNA

Khatami paid a visit to various sections of the library.

The construction operations of the new building of the library, which is among the most equipped libraries of the world, started in 1996 in an area of 97 thousand square meters.

photo: ISNA

The library has roomed over one million volumes of books in Persian, Arabic, English, French, German, and Russian languages. Some 400 to 600 thousand volumes will be increased to the library in the next 10 years.

Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Ja'far Tofiqi, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ali Abdolalizadeh, Interior Minister, Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari, Head of the International Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thoughts, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, and Head of Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), Mahmoud Mohammadi Araqi, as well as head and officials of Iran's National Library attended the inauguration ceremony.

The English-language paper 'Iran Daily' Tuesday quoted Head of Iran's Documents and National Library Organization and the Islamic Encyclopedia Center, Kazem Moussavi Bojnourdi, as saying that the library has seven sections, which include books on Islamic studies, Iranology, human sciences and technology and other fields of study.

"In addition to these sections, an area of some 20 thousand square meters has been allocated for storing books," he said.

photo: ISNA

Bojnourdi added the library has enough space for keeping seven million books and the government plans to help the library complete its treasuries.

The official said the library reserves the right to purchase books from foreign countries.

"We have no problem for buying books even from the countries with which we have political problem," he said.

The official added Iran mainly purchases books from the North African and Far Eastern states, but some part of books are bought from the European countries and the United States.

photo: ISNA

Bojnourdi said 300 billion rials has been till now spent for the new building of Iran's National Library and currently only 60 percent of the building is operational.

The building's architecture is unrivaled in the Middle East, he boasted.

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