[NetBehaviour] Fwd: <nettime-ann> Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Danger

De wraak van Baltassar Geraards ajaco at xs4all.nl
Thu Nov 25 11:32:14 CET 2010

> Dear reader,
> please forward this request for the petition Express your protest  
> against the dissolution of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica  
> (Ritman Library)  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ritmanlibrary/
> http://www.ritmanlibrary.nl/  IS A UNIQUE LIBRARY IN THE WORLD !!!
> Express your protest against the dissolution of the Bibliotheca  
> Philosophica Hermetica (Ritman Library)
> It is widely known that the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in  
> Amsterdam, founded by J.R. Ritman, was in great danger in the 1990s,  
> when the ING bank took possession of the collection and threatened  
> to sell it. Fortunately, the Dutch government intervened: the BPH  
> was put on the list of protected Dutch heritage, and the State  
> eventually acquired over 40% of it. The books remained at the same  
> physical location, integrated with the rest of the collection, and  
> the government would eventually acquire all of it. As part of this  
> process, there were great plans for further expansion. Largely due  
> to the financial crisis and a change of government this was taking  
> somewhat longer than originally anticipated, but nobody doubted that  
> the library was safe.
> Last week this turned out to be incorrect. An extremely valuable  
> medieval manuscript owned by the BPH (The Grail of Rochefoucauld)  
> was put on sale at Sotheby’s, and this triggered a reaction from the 
>  Friesland Bank, which took possession of the library, that had appa 
> rently been brought in as collateral, in order to get back a 15 mill 
> ion euro loan from mr Ritman. At present the BPH is closed, and inte 
> nse negotiations are going on behind closed doors. It is impossible  
> at this moment to predict the outcome, but there is no doubt that th 
> e situation is extremely serious. There is a very real possibility t 
> hat the Friesland bank will try to sell at least the ca. 60% of the  
> library that is still owned by mr Ritman, and nobody knows what impl 
> ications this will have for the rest of the collection and the BPH a 
> s a whole, including its staff. The brand-new government of the Neth 
> erlands has announced a program of radical financial cuts in the cul 
> ture section and elsewhere, which makes a renewed intervention from  
> that side highly unlikely.
> If the Ritman library would go down, this would mean an enormous  
> blow to international scholarship in hermetic studies. The damage  
> would be irreversible. By signing this petition you express your  
> concern, and ask the Dutch government and the Friesland bank to do  
> their utmost to ensure that the collection will be saved and will  
> remain available for the international scholarly community.
> Additionally, you can express your concern by means of a signed  
> letter. The initiative for this petition comes from the Center for  
> History of Hermetic Philosophy and related currents at the  
> University of Amsterdam (organizationally independent of the BPH,  
> and not in any danger itself), so please send your letter to its  
> director: Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Oude Turfmarkt 141-147, 1012  
> GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
> _______________________________________________
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> nettime-ann at nettime.org
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