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Culture news, 25.11.2003 15:01

Academy of Sciences Library Welcomes US Legate

Academy of Sciences Library Welcomes US Legate US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow visited the Academy of Sciences Library here Friday during his visit to the city. US President George Bush has given the library a gift of USD 20,000, from his personal fund, for the restoration of rare American books.

Many of the library's books were seriously damaged in a fire in 1988.

As Valery Leonov, the library's director, told Rosbalt, the US Consulate's culture department, in preparing for Saint Petersburg's 300th birthday, prepared a list of possible gifts that included this sum for the restoration of American books. During the president and his wife's visit to Petersburg, Laura Bush attended an exhibit, 'Russia and America-300 Years,' which included a rare volume signed by Ben Franklin himself. She decided that the book restoration would be the best gift.

The library director said the money had already been received. He also mentioned that he had discovered, in the course of his personal meeting with Vershbow, that Vershbow's father is a devoted bibliophile.

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