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Jan 15, 2013, 07.27 PM IST | Source: PTI

Rashtrapati Bhavan library restored

Rashtrapati Bhavan library restored

New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) "I can spend all five years sitting in this library and reading," encompassed the emotions of President Pranab Mukherjee who undertook his first visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan library which has been brought to its original glory after a detailed renovation work. Known as daughter of resplendent Durbar Hall, the library, designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens and located in north east corner of Rashtrapati Bhavan, was dumped with books till Mukherjee, an avid reader of history, decided to renovate it. Extra books shelves have been removed to create space and a table with chairs designed by Lutyens himself add to the grace of this relatively small yet elegant portion of the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan. After four months of carefully undertaken renovation work, a brightly lit library, having view of entire Raisina Hill, welcomes guests with 4000 titles neatly stacked in British-era wooden cupboards, the oldest one being Alexander Beatson's "War with Tippoo Sultan and the siege of Seringapatnam", published in 1800. Edward Foster's "British Gallery of Engravings from the Pictures of the Italian, Flemish, Dutch and English Schools", which has signature of Viceroy Lord Curzon, is another rare piece from the collection which was gifted to him by Raja of Tripura. The library also has collection of early editions of Punch, a British weekly magazine of humour and satire which was published on Saturdays in 19th and 20th Century. "The library has over 24,000 books but only 4000 have been put on display. The rest are being catalogued, arranged and if needed restored to original condition," Press Secretary to President Venu Rajamony said. PTI ABS ZMN

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