Día de las Bibliotecas

Elvira Q.

Día de la BibliotecaHoy 24 de octubre es oficialmente el Día de las Bibliotecas, desde que en 1997 la Asociación Española de Amigos del Libro Infantil y Juvenil, en colaboración con el Ministerio de Cultura, instauró está fecha, en recuerdo de la destrucción de la Biblioteca de Sarajevo.

El asedio de Sarajevo se desarrolló durante la guerra de Bosnia, entre las fuerzas de Bosnia y Herzegovina (tras su declaración de independencia de Yugoslavia); y el Ejército Popular Yugoslavo (JNA) y el Ejército de la República Srpska (VRS), situados en las colinas que rodean la ciudad. La noche del 24 al 25 de agosto de 1992, el sitio de Sarajevo se cobraba una víctima de incalculable valor. El fuego de artillería del ejército serbio-bosnio con proyectiles de fósforo desató un incendio que destruía el edificio de la biblioteca. El edificio no tení­a valor estratégico ni importancia militar, pero constituía el gran sí­mbolo de identidad de un pueblo. Desaparecieron una buena parte de sus fondos, conservados a lo largo de siglos tanto por musulmanes como por serbios ortodoxos, croatas católicos y judí­os, más de dos millones de volúmenes, incluidos más de 700 manuscritos e incunables, una colección única de libros y publicaciones históricas bosnias y más de 155.000 rarezas bibliográficas. Los manuscritos de la Colección Instituto Oriental de Sarajevo, una de las colecciones más ricas de manuscritos orientales en el mundo, fueron completamente destruidos.

Varios miles de volúmenes pudieron ser salvados en los primeros momentos del incendio, cuando en medio de la catástrofe, un grupo de ciudadanos y personal de la biblioteca intentaron salvar lo que pudieron bajo las balas de los francotiradores, arriesgando sus vidas, comenzaron a arrojar libros y documentos por las ventanas. Algunos ejemplares muy valiosos habían sido retirados previamente y guardados en lugares secretos.

Los fondos perdidos de la biblioteca conformaban un reflejo de la herencia multicultural que presidió la vida bajo los imperios otomano y austro-húngaro en estos territorios frecuentemente convulsos.

Hay un dato especialmente siniestro. El hombre que, según todas las informaciones publicadas en los últimos años, ordenó disparar los proyectiles incendiarios, había sido un usuario habitual de la biblioteca. Un profesor universitario, especializado en la obra de Shakespeare. Un hombre de una exquisita formación cultural y poética que encandilaba a sus alumnos de la universidad de Sarajevo. Nikola Koljevic (Banja Luka, 1936-Belgrado, 1997). Al producirse la implosión de Yugoslavia, el profesor Koljevic, se convirtió en el número dos de la formación ultranacionalista serbia que dirigía Radovan Karadzic, un psiquiatra de Sarajevo (nacido en Montenegro) que también amaba los versos y acabó ordenando masacres.
En 1992, Koljevic se convirtió en el intelectual de la fracción serbia que alentaba el cerco militar de la ciudad para forzar su rendición. Amaba la literatura, pero amaba aún más la idealización de la Gran Serbia. Proyectada en la pantalla del fanatismo, la Gran Serbia era incompatible con la ‘impureza’ de Sarajevo, donde los bosnios musulmanes y los croatas católicos eran mayoría. El estilo oriental de la biblioteca, una concesión ecléctica del Imperio Austro-Húngaro, era una manifestación evidente de esa “impureza”. Dispararon bombas de fósforo para extirparla. Al acabar la guerra, Koljevic se entregó a la bebida y acabó suicidándose en 1997, en Belgrado. Karadzic se escondió y no fue detenido hasta el 2008. Desde entonces se halla bajo la custodia del Tribunal Penal Internacional de La Haya, acusado de genocidio, crímenes contra la humanidad y violación de las leyes de guerra.

Desde su bombardeo, en el vacío  de sus paredes arrasadas, numerosos artistas interpretaron obras musicales y exhibieron sus trabajos consolidando un mensaje que dio la vuelta al mundo. Un grito contra la barbarie de la guerra y del odio étnico.

La restauración de la biblioteca comenzó en 1996, año en que se cumplía un siglo de su inauguración. El gobierno austríaco donó 750.000 euros para el inicio de los trabajos. Entre 2002 y 2014, se desarrollan el resto de las fases financiadas con fondos procedentes de la Unión Europea por un valor de más de 8 millones de euros, más una notable aportación económica del emirato de Qatar.

Actualmente, el edificio se ha convertido en Monumento nacional destinado a acoger eventos diversos. En mayo del 2014 uno de los edificios históricos de la memoria política del continente cobra una nueva vida. La mítica biblioteca de Sarajevo, vuelve a abrir sus puertas 22 años después de su destrucción a manos de las fuerzas serbobosnias bajo el mando del general Mladic.

 

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