Stockholm Library Vandalised


Dagens Nyheter reports that the Stockholm University Library has seen some pretty bad vandalism. Yesterday morning it was discovered that someone had disconnected the drain-pipe from an upstairs washbasin and opened the taps to the max. Several cubic meters of water flooded out during the night and drenched three floors. Luckily, few books were damaged, but the place will have to close while everything is dried out and the carpeting replaced.

Vandalising libraries is of course on a par with organising book bonfires or bringing down internet hubs, a particularly ugly crime. I hope whoever did this turns out to be mentally ill, not having acted on any rational plan.

Personally, I’ve never spent much time in the University library, mainly because the Library of the Academy of Letters specialises in my field and so offers all I need. The Uni library is a pretty ugly building, designed by Ralph Erskine to the great acclaim of his colleagues and finished in 1983. More than anything else, it looks like a passenger ferry on dry land. As an undergrad I studied for a few exams there, but the distraction level is unbelievable: it’s babe ground centre, enough to make anyone’s head explode.

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8 thoughts on “Stockholm Library Vandalised

  1. I don’t normally support capital punishment, but whoever did this really should be catapulted away somewhere, and, though I do kind of like my privacy, they really should set up surveillance cameras around the place, ‘cos they have some pretty valuable stuff there. I was gonna borrow Vox Graeca there tomorrow, but now that the library’s closed I guess I’ll just have to remain ignorant on the subtleties of Ancient Greek pronunciation – because of someone who couldn’t find something reasonable to vandalize, like a billboard or military facility or somesuch symbol of evil, instead of this symbol of that which is wholly good: the fruit of knowledge. Now who could possibly hate such a thing?

    And except for all the whiteness, I’d say there’s not much of a connection to the style of a passenger ferry, for those are usually rather tackily pimped up with golden banisters, glass elevators and whatnot, while this library has a pretty clean style.


  2. I believe the building actually consciously emulates a ferry. It’s even got ship chimneys. But you’re right, it’s like a new ly built ferry before the interior “decorators” get to work.


  3. In 1996 the public library in Linköping was destroyed by fire, probably by an arsonist. I didn´t live in Linköping in those years but as far as I remember it really affected the community in many ways.


  4. Lars, there was some concern that the Linkoping library fire had perhaps been lit by xenophobes who didn’t like the fact that an immigrants’ organisation was having a meeting there.

    Kevin, are you sure you have the right optics in your glasses?

    Being torn limb from limb by bacchantic librarians sounds like a guilty pleasure.


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