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National Library throws Facebook party
By:
thinkSPAIN , Friday, February 27, 2009

The National Library in Madrid opened its doors for the first time this evening to more than a hundred of its followers on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

The Library's director, Milagros de Corral, told reporters that the idea behind the event was to 'put faces to names' and to 'forge links between the virtual world and the real world'. 

The internet users who'd won their invitation through an on-line draw, were invited up to the room where the board of directors hold their meetings and which is full of priceless antiques.  Over 20 works of art had been put on show especially for them, including works by Dürer and Goya and a spectaular atlas produced by Joan Martínez, one of the leading cartographers from the16th century.

One of the exhibits that attracted the most attention was the Aristón, a musical instrument dating from the end of the 19th century, which emits a sound by means of an organ-like mechanism made up of a perforated carcboard disc and a handle.  As well as just hearing it and about it, some visitors were allowed to try it for themselves.

The idea for the event came from Pepa Michel, the deputy director of the National Library who thought it was important to 'break down barriers' because people are 'unaware' of the institution's heritage and the access they have to it.

 
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