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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile


British Museum / London / Art

Edmund de Waal has created a “space to sit and read and be.” Located in the British Museum, it is a library filled with 2,000 books in translation, all of them written by exiled authors. “It is about exile,” says de Waal of his pavilion, “what it means to have to move to another country, to speak another language.” So the story told in this library is one of displacement, but also adaptation—language as the passkey into a foreign place. The library’s external walls are painted with liquid porcelain, and in a final symbolic gesture de Waal has here inscribed the names of destroyed libraries from antiquity. —E.C.

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British Museum Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
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